Thinley Namgay

As part of the ninth “United Nations (UN) 50 Art for Change Roadshow”, 35 Class X students of Wangbama Central School in Thimphu presented their environmental concerns in the form of art at their school yesterday.

Students used paintings, drawings, and theatrical techniques to convey messages on climate change.

Participants presented two skits yesterday.

The first one was on declining numbers of black-necked cranes visiting Phobjikha in Wangdue.

Participants tried to depict that global warming is causing diseases to an endangered species.

The other skit was on water crises in the village where villagers are fighting for their share.  It showed the water sources are drying due to climate change.

Facilitated by the film fraternity, students also composed a song on climate change.

UN 50 Art for Change Roadshow is a part of the year-long activities jointly organised by the UN Bhutan and the government to commemorate Bhutan’s 50th anniversary as a member state to the UN.

The roadshow was to provide a platform for the students to understand the issues regarding the environment and climate change and encourage them to express their concerns through art to become environment change makers.

A 17-year-old Samten Dorji said that his photo titled ‘champion of earth’ showcased Bhutan as one of the few biodiversity hotspots in the world. He said that Bhutanese must maintain that status.

Kinley Lhendup had drawn the photo about glacial lake outburst as part of the event.  He said that glaciers are melting, and Bhutan has already experienced the consequences. “Everyone should play a role to reduce greenhouse gases associated with human activities.”

“Especially, young people have potential to change the world,” Kinley Lhendup said.

Sangay Lhendup had drawn the image of the pre- and post-industrialised world. The picture showed that developmental activities should be pursued with appropriate environmental policies.

According to officials at the event, the whole idea of the roadshow was to make students aware of climate change from an early age and replicate their ideas to friends, family and society.

UN Resident Coordinator Gerald Daly said that there was a wave of optimism through art for change roadshow. “We want the 50 years of UN in Bhutan to be about youth and environment.”

“We want the youth of Bhutan to have the opportunity to become action artists and play a role in the modern world,” he said.

UN Bhutan, in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Alumni Bhutan, organised a three-day “UN 50 Art for Change Roadshow” at Wangbama Central School from August 28.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk