BCC Hosts a United Nations Water Conference Official Event on March 23, 2023
BCC was once again featured on the global stage when it hosted an official event of the 2023 United Nations Water Conference on the campus on March 23, 2023.
The subject of the Conference was “Climate Resilience: Addressing Drought and Flood.” The event focused on assessing risks of drought and flood for mitigation resources, adaption and innovation to combat the critical issues of communities around the world.
BCC was chosen for this conference because of the work of Dr. Neal Phillip, Chairperson, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences Department, and his colleague Professor Paramita Sen on climate change, air pollution and related water issues in India.
Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and a US State Department Public Diplomacy grant with US Consulate in Hyderabad, India, they have installed weather stations in India and arranged international conferences addressing this issue. They have also visited India twice with students from BCC and other CUNY campuses for research and experiential learning opportunities. Additionally, they have received another US State Department Public Diplomacy Grant with the US Consulate in Mumbai, India.
Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe, President of BCC, was among the dignitaries who delivered opening remarks. He thanked the international audience for choosing BCC for the conference and welcomed them to the historic campus.
The keynote address was given by Mr. Rajendra Singh, Chair of the Peoples World Commission for Drought and Flood in Rajasthan, India. Dr. Singh, a renowned India water conservationist and environmentalist and commonly known known as “The Waterman of India”, is the winner of the Stockholm Water Prize in 2015. He detailed his work in Rajasthan changing the climate thereby turning deserts into lush green environments.
There were three panel discussions. The first focused on Science and Society and featured Dr. Dimirti Katehis, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, who highlighted what NYC learned from hurricanes Ida and Sandy and what protocols are now in place to protect the City’s infrastructure from these types of events.
The second session addressed Indigenous Knowledge System and Local Wisdom. Professor Sen outlined the work that BCC has undertaken in India. This included the installation of the nine weather stations.
The final session detailed Advanced Technology to Combat Drought and Flood and was co-chaired by Dr. Neal Phillip and Dr. Vasil Diyamandoglu of the City College of New York (CUNY).
For BCC the conference was an opportunity to showcase its work on climate change, exchange research with colleagues from around the world and forge new collaborations.
Dr. Phillip said, “The UN Water Conference was an important event for BCC. The College hosted many of the key players in climate change from India, Sweden and the United States. This will help our mission moving forward to be a global research institution on this critical issue.”
Professor Sen noted, “Our students are the next generation of scientists. We welcome this opportunity to introduce them to the international community of scientists in this field.”
Dr. Phillip and Professor Sen will again visit India three times this year to update their work on climate change through the NSF grant and the US State Department Public Diplomacy grants.