Youth for Sustainable Palm Oil Fellowship
Palm Oil Scenario
Palm Oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world in terms of production volumes. Malaysia and Indonesia are leading producers, together accounting for 86% of global production. Although oil palm is a more sustainable producer of vegetable oil than other oil crops, there is a serious concern that the growing demand of palm oil for food and biofuel could lead to rapid and ill-managed expansion of palm oil production – resulting in serious deforestation. Hence there is a global push to augment the trade and use of sustainable palm oil, especially for leading consumer countries like India and China.
Approximately 50% of common consumer products contain palm oil. In fact, around 70% of our cosmetics and household products including margarine and chocolate to donuts and cookies, and even many personal care items like lipstick, shampoo and soap contain some materials derived from palm oil. There is growing realization now that consumers, especially young millennial can play a leading role in strengthening the push towards sustainable palm oil by advocating and actively demanding use of sustainable palm oil in these products that they use on a daily basis. Youth power/pressure can influence/push FMCG companies in India to move towards sustainable palm oil use, the uptake of which remains rather limited in India.
About the Fellowship
The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has designed and conceptualized a Youth Fellowship for Sustainable Palm Oil (YfS). The objective of this programme rolled out in February 2020 is to offer one of its kind opportunities to youth (young professionals between 18 yearsto 25 years to take charge by engaging and shaping the sustainability/SDG agenda based on their own ideas and actions.
The certificate fellowship pursues to engage youth specifically on SDG 12 (responsible production and consumption) and SDG 13 (climate action). At the end of the fellowship, each of the candidates are expected to submit an idea/plan that they want to implement in the next one year. The idea/plan may be a business model or an initiative at anindividual/ community or an organizational level. The plan should incorporate ways in which the candidate aims to prevent deforestation and combat climate change through the uptake of sustainable palm oil in India.
Number of applicants applied for the felowship. After a rigorous process involving written application and interview, four candidates were shortlisted. Currently, the selected candidates are being mentored by sustainability practitioners on the above ideas/actions relating them specifically to SDG12 and SDG13.
For the purpose of mentoring, CRB and RSPO have identified four mentors from diverse backgrounds.
As a YfS Fellow, the selected candidates will interact with their mentors to shape and refine their ideas/actions, gain exposure on the subject, publish their ideas through blogs and participate in national and international events in 2020. The names of the shortlisted fellows along with the name of their mentor and topics are as follows:
|Bhavya Arora||To develop a training module around SDG 12 and 13 for high school students and promote use of sustainable palm oil||Ms. Ambreen Khan, Manager-WWF Volunteers|
|Punyasloka Panda||Integrate environment and sustainable development into the utilitarian mindset of an individual and a profit seeking company and work towards making eco -friendlybehaviour a norm||Mr. Kamal Prakash Seth, Country Head – India, RSPO|
|Rashmi Subramanian||Leverage technology through a mobile application for tracking usage and avoiding wastage of day - to – day resources||Ms. Ruhie Kumar, Communications Consultant on Climate Change|
|Vagisha Anant||Promote Sustainable Travel, where travel not only includes going out of your city or state but also includes stepping outside your house and adopting sustainable practices while commuting or travelling||Ms. Bhavya Sharma, Programme Officer, CRB|
Meet the Mentors
Meet the Fellows
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