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  • Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 to Showcase a Rich Tapestry of Climate & Environmental Conversations

    Published on January 10, 2024

    Sessions to focus on climate change shaping civilisations, transition from fossil fuel era, mystique of tiger tales and the story of conservation effortsintersection of AI with climate and environmental challenges, migration of both humans and crops across time and many more significant subjects.

    The seventeenth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival is gearing up for a thought-provoking exploration of climate and environmental issues. Scheduled from 1st to 5th February at Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur, the festival promises a unique confluence of literary minds, thinkers, and humanitarians.  

    The Earth Transformed: An Untold History

    Speaker: Peter Frankopan and Yuvan Aves

    Historian and writer Peter Frankopan’s latest book The Earth Transformed: An Untold History is a revolutionary new history that reveals how climate change has dramatically shaped the development—and demise—of civilisations across time. Spanning centuries and continents, Frankopan will explain how nature has always played a fundamental role in the writing of history and evaluates the fall of civilisations at the behest of Mother Nature, in conversation with Yuvan Aves. 

    Intertidal: A Coast and Marsh Diary

    Speaker: Yuvan Aves, Robert Macfarlane and Colin Thubron

    Writer and Naturalist Yuvan Aves’ recent work Intertidal: A Coast and Marsh Diary, spread across two years and three monsoons, is a diary of deep observations of the coast and wetland, climate and self. Diving into the in-between space where land meets sea–and also where being meets world, the narrative explores interactions with the tiniest life forms in the midst of a landscape of beauty and fragility. In conversation with celebrated author Robert Macfarlane and acclaimed travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron, Aves will take us on a journey beyond the binaries of man, animal, sea and the coast, into the world of harmonious coexistence. 

    COP28: Global Stock Take

    Speakers: Hervé Delphin, Philip Green, May-Elin Stener, Jeff Goodell and Shyam Saran

    COP28 closed with an agreement signalling the ‘beginning of the end’ of the fossil fuel era. An informed panel discusses the possible paths to a timely and equitable transition. A session on global solidarity and determination to move beyond policy into tangible outcomes 

    Hoofprints: Year of the Camel

    Speakers: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson and Yuvan Aves

    2024, the ‘International Year of Camelids,’ recognises camelids and their essential role in protecting hostile ecosystems and providing livelihood for millions of families around the world. Scientist Ilse Köhler-Rollefson is the author of Camel Karma, a narrative that traces her quest to save Rajasthan’s camels while sharing insights into connections with the Raika people and their enduring relationship with species. Her recent work, Hoofprints on the Land, is a fascinating and lyrical description of the working partnerships between people and animals. Yuvan Aves writes, teaches, learns, and lives where the landscape merges with mindscape. He is a multi-award winning writer, nature-educator and environmental defender, and the managing trustee of Palluyir Trust for Nature Education and Research. Together, Köhler-Rollefson and Aves will discuss the camel cultures of the world, the welfare and preservation of these animals, and the crucial role they play in questions of food security, climate change and biodiversity. 

    Of Big Cats and Tigers

    Speakers: Gargi Rawat and Arefa Tehsin

    The magnificent big cats of the jungle ecosystem, such as the great Bengal Tiger, have inspired writers of both fiction and nonfiction for generations.  News anchor and environment reporter Gargi Rawat’s recent book, Tiger Season, is a fictional account of an environmental journalist’s tryst with tiger conservation, love, and the great outdoors. Writer, novelist and nature activist Arefa Tehsin was appointed the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur district by the government of Rajasthan and has pursued nature conservation through her books and articles. Together, they will discuss the mystique of tiger tales and the story of conservation efforts in Rajasthan. 

    The Sacred Trees of India

    Speakers: Louise Fowler-Smith, Pradip Krishen and Mridula Ramesh

    Louise Fowler-Smith’s recent work, Sacred Trees of India, examines the fundamental threat posed by deforestation to ecological sustainability and the continuation of life on earth. Drawing on 10 years of fieldwork in India, Fowler-Smith expertly documents the sacred trees and groves of India and the traditions of tree-worship which present a powerful alternative to the Western capitalist commodification of nature. Environmentalist and filmmaker Pradip Krishen’s book Jungle Trees of Central India is a lavishly illustrated account of the trees found in the region. In conversation with Mridula Ramesh they will discuss the nuances of a culture whose reverence for trees has helped them prevent outright ecological destruction. 

    AI for Good: The Climate of Change

    Speakers: Marcus du Sautoy and David Sandalow 

    Artificial intelligence and data science have transformed our understanding and application of knowledge in various fields. The intersection of AI with climate and environmental challenges provides transformative opportunities to accelerate and optimise affordable clean energy and reduce the planet’s carbon footprint.  A session that will take a comprehensive look at the positives and negatives of using AI to mitigate climate change and other scientific questions while addressing the challenges ahead. 

    The Pale Blue Dot: Cherishing our Planet

    Speakers: Mukesh Bansal, Amitabh Kant, Neelkanth Mishra and Vishnu Som

    Amitabh Kant, Mukesh Bansal and Neelkanth Mishra will explore the timely theme of cherishing our planet and our place in the cosmos. As India makes strides in reaching out to explore our planetary systems and beyond, our vision as a species expands and our horizons widen. Even as the consciousness of ‘One World’ dawns, greed and hubris divide the world, entrepreneurs, writers, technocrats and future space professionals explore the exciting potential of a global economy within the burgeoning space ecosystem. A stimulating and visionary ‘Future Now’ session examining our changing world. 

    Scorched Earth: Lessons from Nature

    Speakers: Siddharth Srikanth, Peter Frankopan, Jeff Goodell and Gargi Rawat

    Many people think climate change primarily implies warmer temperatures, but temperature rise is only the beginning of the story. Because the Earth is a system, where everything is connected, every little change has the capacity to influence other aspects. Weaving through history and current politics, an illustrious panel evaluates the lessons from our past to better understand the impact of the climate crisis in our present and future. 

    Chasing Sustainability: Policy, Industry and the Environment

    Speakers: Mridula Ramesh, Amitabh Kant and Sumant Sinha and Siddarth Shrikanth

    Our planet is changing in extreme ways. With ocean levels rising and temperatures soaring, governments and industries across the world have begun taking systemic steps to mitigate the challenges brought on by climate change. The session will feature a panel championing the leadership, solutions and ambitious action that are driving the transition to a more sustainable, equitable, climate-resilient global economy. 

    Migrants: Interconnections Across Time

    Speakers: Sam Miller, Sureshkumar Muthukumaran and Aarathi Prasad

    Humans are fundamentally a migratory species, more so than any other land mammal, and yet migration is one of the most toxically controversial subjects of our times. A unique session which will bring together observations on the migration of both humans and crops across time to better understand the interconnectedness of the world. Sam Miller’s recent work, Migrants: The Story of Us All, blends the personal and the panoramic to present a nomadic view of the human species. Historian and writer Sureshkumar Muthukumaran’s book, Tropical Turn, chronicles the earliest histories of familiar tropical Asian crops in the ancient Middle East and the Mediterranean, from rice and cotton to citruses and cucumbers. In conversation with author Aarathi Prasad, they will explore the fascinating ways in which movement across the globe has led to the creation of a unique interwoven ecological, cultural, and social fabric in the modern world.


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