Shout Out to Isabella Gurung of Kurseong

Isabella Gurung

Sikkim Express journalist Isabella Gurung is representing India at the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled ‘Call to Climate Action: Building Public Awareness through Media Advocacy’- a project for India at the United States of America (USA) from June 15 -July 6.

The three-week fellowship programme is organised by the United States Department of State and administed by Cultural Vistas, under the direction of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

The IVLP was first established in 1940 and is one of the U.S. government’s most prestigious professional exchange programs for foreign opinion leaders.

Isabella is accompanied by five other journalists from India namely Barasha Das (independent journalist), Jaideep Deogharia (The Times of India), Sumir Karmakar (Deccan Herald), Sabita Kumari (Dainik Bhaskar) and Pooja Mehta Batavia (Zee News/Wion).

Isabella Gurung

This project will examine media approaches of generating public awareness and influencing policy makers to address the climate crisis. Through meetings and site visits, participants will explore U.S. governmental programs, non-governmental strategies, and private sector investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy sources, and support vulnerable human and natural populations at greatest risk from climate change. The group will focus on U.S. media efforts to generate campaigns to protect climate, environment and biodiversity through environmental laws and protection policies, scientific research, and environmental education awareness.

The team will visit four cities viz. Washington DC, Detriot (Michigan) Boise (Idaho) and Boulder (Colorado) with the aim to address specific objectives for the projects viz. access US national, state and local progrss in addressing climate change goals, observe how environmental policy-making and media campaigns can be linked with practical solutions to improve human and ecosystem health, assure adequate food and water supplies and provide sustainable livelihoods, discuss priority issues that can be highlighted by media to raise awareness on climate change challenges and discuss media strategies to promote public engagement in environmental conservation to reach zero emissions and limit to global warming of 1.5°C.

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Isabella Gurung hails from Kurseong, Darjeeling and is alumna of St Helen’s Convent, Kurseong and Loreto Convent Darjeeling. She completed her graduation in Mass Communication from St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling and Masters in Mass Communication from Sikkim University.

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