The Global Days of
Listening by the Afghan Peace
Volunteers (APVs), is a forum that facilitates the exchange of knowledge
and experience on specific themes, every month. For the past 10 years, it has
provided a forum for active listening for people around the world to,
“collaborate around each other’s paths of action towards a peaceful world”. The
session on 22nd February focused on climate action, and raised a very pertinent
concern: what can we do about
pollution of the air, water, food, soil and environment?
Ahsan Ali Thakur, Chairperson of the
ICA-AP Committee on Youth Cooperation, shared his experience spearheading the
Go Green campaign under ICYC, from 2017. The campaign works with cooperatives
and communities in the Asia-Pacific and Africa to encourage and facilitate tree
planting. In 2020, the campaign hopes to expand its scope by involving youth
from the Americas.
Below is the exchange, which ensued between Ahsan Ali Thakur and APV
during the call.
Climate change is not just an issue for young people; it’s for everyone. Each generation must
face the issue accordingly. For the coming generation, pollution is a prominent
The conceptualisation of Go Green
Campaign goes back to 2017, when Climate change started gaining traction in the
news channels. The causes of climate change like earthquakes, cyclones, forest
fires, etc. have also increased over time. In this context, cooperatives by their very nature focus on
sustainability measures in the community.
Go Green Campaign involves youth in planting trees and simultaneously
talking about cooperatives. In 2020, Go Green Campaign is targeting to
involve youth from America and showcasing how cooperatives are linked with
Sustainable Development Goals.
APV – Is the campaign
related to some cooperative business model?
No. We are keeping cooperative principles as the motivation behind this
campaign and making it relevant for youth cooperatives. It runs on voluntary
participation, incorporates concern for community, and stresses on self-help.
Each cooperative leads this campaign for
its own community. We are facilitating by providing our voices.
Have there been any tree plantation campaigns in Afghanistan? Also are there
any in cooperatives in Afghanistan
There has been greater effort to plant trees during the past year. There is a
group of people (Green leaves?) who collect old clothes and give tree saplings
in return. These have been supplemented by the government as well.
idea of cooperatives, especially worker cooperatives, has not taken root in
Afghanistan. The wars in Afghanistan
has broken trust among people. Thus coming together as a community has become
even harder; but, there is a lot of potential. APVs are becoming pioneers in
setting up worker cooperatives. We have already set up a tailoring worker
cooperative and a shoe-making worker cooperative.