04 August 2018

The Saturday morning witnessed Kochi citizens come together in huge numbers to participate in WWF-India’s ‘One Planet Cities Pedalathon’ to take a stand for the cause of adopting sustainable modes of commute as part of the One Planet Cities Challenge (OPCC) initiative. Flagged off by the Hon’ble Mayor, Smt. Soumini Jain, the event saw participation from over 300 citizens across the city taking part in the cyclothon and the marathon.

WWF-India and Kochi Municipal Corporation, in partnership with ICLEI-South Asia organized this public event to raise awareness and gather support from the citizens for adopting smarter and greener choices of commute.

Kochi being the commercial capital of the state of Kerala with economic activities increasing manifolds, the demand for urban transport is also increasing, leading to traffic congestion and pollution that subsequently has deteriorating health impacts on the citizens. Of the total vehicular traffic in Kochi, more than 70% is constituted by privately owned vehicles, including cars and two-wheelers, which carry about 20% of passenger traffic in the city.The introduction of metro rail system in Kochi has been a positive move that has taken the city a step closer to adopting sustainable mobility solutions, the usage of which needs to be further encouraged.

Apart from further improving the transport infrastructure in Kochi, there is the need for individual action to enable a climate smart future for the city. This requires a mind shift: where private motorized vehicles give way to sustainable transport modes and better lifestyle choices.

The “One Planet Cities Pedalathon” is WWF’s initiative to promote sustainable mobility as part of its One Planet City Challenge platform. The challenge (earlier named the Earth Hour City Challenge) aims to mobilise action and support from cities in the transition towards a climate friendly future and demonstrates how sustainable cities can be a hub for creativity, ambition and innovation in climate action. In addition to the regular engagement with the cities, the initiative also looks at a deeper engagement with the citizens for awareness generation and mobilizing action.

The One Planet Cities Pedalathonis thus a call to action for citizens of Kochi to Give Up to Give Back to the planet by giving up on unsustainable modes of commute and adopting ‘smart commute’ choices like cycling, walking, using public transport, electric vehicles, and carpooling whenever possible, that will offer them convenience and be a positive step towards a sustainable future. The event saw enthusiastic participation from people across the city, come forward to take a pledge to adopt eco-friendly practices in their daily lives and inspire positive action for the planet.

Speaking at the event, Smt. Soumini Jain, Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation said, “Truly said by Mahatma Gandhi ‘ Nature has enough for man’s need but not for his greed’.  Global Warming is a serious and a threatening challenge that must be tackled at the very moment. Also, the deadly pollutants are making it difficult for people to even breathe, in short, if not now, then this thing can be fatal in near future. We must volunteer for a change, be the change, as a change is always initiated on a small scale. A minor change in lifestyle and day to day activities can show significant results in the long term. Simple steps like riding a bicycle to work, or taking a public transport for commute can be very effective. Further, by using our natural resources judiciously, we can bring in a great change not just to people but also the environment.”

Speaking about the event, Dr. Suchismita Mukhopadhyay, Associate Director, Climate Change and Energy Programme, WWF-India,said, “Over the years, OPCC  has been engaging citizens on solutions related to energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Sustainable mobility is particularly essential for a rapidly growing city such as Kochi. It is important for citizens to make smart mobility choices in their daily lives. Simple individual lifestyle choices such as taking public transport, cycling and walking for shorter trips or even car-pooling can help decongest the roads, reduce pollution and address climate change.”
Notes to the Editor:

First established in WWF-Sweden in 2011, the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), earlier named the Earth Hour City Challenge, aims to mobilise action and support from cities in the transition towards a climate friendly future. Since then WWF has engaged over 400 cities across 5 continents. OPCC was introduced in India in 2012, and has seen participation of 24 cities since then. The city of Kochi joined the One Planet City Challenge in 2012.Other cities which are part of this platform include -Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kota, Nagpur, Nashik, New Delhi, Panaji, Patna, Pune, Rajkot, Shimla, Surat, Thane and Vadodara


For further details please contact: 

Rituparna Sengupta
Sr. Manager- Brand, Media and Campaigns
rsengupta@wwfindia.net | 011-41504797

Sakshi Gaur
Communications Officer – Climate Change and Energy
sgaur@wwfindia.net, 011 – 41504823


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