This morning we awoke to the news that, in spite of the rifts among participants, an agreement was reached at the UN Climate Summit in Durban to extend the Kyoto Protocol. This is significant for us as a portion of our project revolves around the employment of carbon trading schemes to provide benefits to those who chose to purchase the solar lanterns and efficient stoves that are the centerpiece of Hariyali.
Today we spent our first day at SEWA HQ. Arriving shortly after 11AM we made introductions and were treated to a presentation on SEWA’s ongoing efforts in India and internationally. We were treated to lunch and Chai before moving downstairs to formally meet our contacts in the Hariyali group for the first time in person. We then sat down to ask questions to the group head, Anurag. And we had plenty. A man with an impressive resume, he spent time as an expat in the Middle East and Europe working in asset management before returning to India. He made his expectations of us clear as we continued to discuss the project until 6PM at which time we retired to the hotel. One thing is clear, for the next week we have our work cut out for us.