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Archana Soreng

Carving out a space for indigenous voices in climate action

As a member of the Khadia tribe of Odisha, Archana has first-hand knowledge of the traditionally sustainable Adivasi practices that have enabled them to live in close harmony with nature. Unfortunately, she has also seen the slow destruction of this way of life that has made communities like hers extremely vulnerable. Today, as a Research Officer in the NGO, Vasundhara Odisha, she uses research, advocacy and community mobilisation to bring the indigenous perspective into climate action discourse. She has been documenting, preserving and promoting the traditional knowledge and practices of the Adivasi and forest dwelling communities in terms of community-led forest protection practices, forest-based livelihood and sustainable agricultural practices and lifestyle.

Archana makes it a point to let people know that despite these communities’ naturally climate positive lifestyle, they are among the most affected by the climate crisis. Archana is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Climate Advisory Board where she amplifies and engages young people in transparent conversations about the climate emergency. Archana is also a part of various climate youth movement groups that advocate meaningful leadership of young people in climate action, especially from those who belong to indigenous and other marginalised communities.