Meet Archana Soreng: A 26 years old Tribal Climate Activist from Odisha working to empower indigenous communities

“We need concrete Climate Action- not empty promises. The future of their generation depends on it”- believes an excited and committed Archana Soreng while talking about the importance of climate action and the indigenous communities involved in it. 

26 year old Archana from Odisha is one of the seven members chosen for the United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. She located the fight against climate change in the idea of supporting the indigenous people living in the forests and taking care of the biodiversity.  For Soreng, kindness travels through working for vulnerable people who matter and who can become an important factor in climate action. This is her story of kindness  to the environment, climate, indigenous communities and making a tangible change that helps the world. 

Soreng belongs to the Odisha’s Kharia tribe and spent her childhood in the Sundergarh district. Indigenous communities like the Kharias make up to only 5% of world’s population. But they protect more than 20 percent of our planet’s land and 80% of Earth’s biodiversity.

Archana’s strong belief is that indigenous people should be the leaders of the climate movement instead of being treated as the victims of climate policies. Her strong will to educate and spread the word of wisdom about climate change sparks with her understanding of the subject. 

Archana has been a part of the war against climate change since teenage. Her inspirations for this have always been her late grandfather and late father, who were both tribal leaders.  Archana has dedicated her life to working towards indigenous people, their practises and their welfare with regards to the climate action, healthcare, community livelihood, environment and sustainability. Archana works with forest dwellers and community stakeholders where she creates videos on indigenous heritage and wisdom and spreads awareness about the importance of indigenous people in climate action. 

This young tribal climate activist did her Master’s in Regulatory Governance from TISS. She is also an active member of the Official Children and Youth Constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(YOUNGO). While participating in the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, United Kingdom and discussing with the UNSG and others, Archana stressed on the importance of including indigenous people in the race to achieve the set target.

She believes that any change regarding climate can only begin from people who actually take care of the nature and environment as their lifestyle. She also believes that tribal communities contribute to providing an alternative in terms of solving the global plastic problem. 

Soreng’s actions and awareness ideas has led an example of inspiration for many young individuals. She joins 6 others youngsters from across the world to work with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change and dreams of making the indigenous people the leaders of climate action to solve the climate crisis. 

Stories like Archana’s are a living example of how the youth can lead the change and become impact makers instead of choosing to sit silent for climate action. Like Archana, many young people are together in this fight against climate change!

She dreams of reclaiming the space of individuals from indigenous people on the global roadmap. Being a part of an indigenous community herself, she has practically and closely observed each and every action that could be taken to save the planet. Archana defies age convention and has set her target at 26 to bring a tangible difference.  

We hope this dream of making a difference keeps getting stronger and stronger with coming years and Archana keeps on saving the planet and raising awareness about it. 

Here’s to more young and inspiring individuals like Archana Soreng and to kindness for nature, climate and environment through youth action.  We believe youth action for change is the major driver for making the world a better place in all regards- health, climate, livelihood, education, community and all aspects of life. 

Click here to read more stories of changemakers, awareness, inspiration and practising kindness!

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