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Yesterday, you met 8 out of the 15 fellows who will join us in the South Asia conference. Today, you will meet the rest of the team! Here are the next 7 fellows going to Colombo, Sri Lanka:

Shaan is a filmmaker, educator, model and environmentalist. A graduate in Media and Communication, Shaan chose to work in the social development sector right after completing her bachelors degree.  Her journey started with her being accepted as one of the 240 members of the 2012 cohort of the prestigious Teach For India Fellowship. As a fellow she gave her time to educating and mentoring primary school children in low income public schools as a full time teacher for 2 years. Post this, she gave another two years to the organization by working as an Alumni Engagement and Fellow Leadership Associate as well as a communications professional. Her projects involved her working on social media marketing, design and short documentary filmmaking where she captured inspiring stories of people working to empower poorer communities, especially children. She is now a national finalist at the Miss Earth India Pageant – a beauty pageant dedicated to working on environmental issues.

Shaan is passionate about working on projects relating to education and the environment and has volunteered with close to 10 organizations in the field of climate change, wildlife conservation, waste management and pollution control over the past decade.  She is also a Climate Reality Leader and was recently trained to be a part of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps led by Former US Vice President, Nobel Laureate and Academy Award Winner for his Documentary on Climate Change – Mr. Al Gore.

When not working, Shaan enjoys her time dancing, graphic designing, doing photography and spending time with animals.

Rukshan De Mel, 23, completed an MSc in Meteorology and Oceanography from the University of East Anglia, Norwich and hopes to undertake a PhD in the topic of “Extreme-weather Disaster management” next year.

He is passionate about many causes and in the liberal movements, but none more than the urgency of resilience and adaptation to the upheaval the global climate will face. Ironies and hypocrisy both delight and vex him in equal measure, and so cynicism is his only true defence for the wonder he shall not yield.

He is a lover of books (long, endless epics you just sink into) and the need to dance is engraved in his bones – although the music that moves him heeds no whim or reason, surely not in its language, era or genre. He is both the storm, and the stone on the string, but mostly he sits on the fence the string is tied to, and contemplates the masses milling on either side: the storm has not broken yet.

pranav_aspire photoA fervent debater, aspiring writer and experienced M.C., Pranav has a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Post Graduate Degree in Liberal Studies. During his undergrad, he spearheaded virtually every club and student organization that was part of his college and as the official Master of Ceremonies, arguably spent more time in front of a podium than he did within the walls of a classroom. A former winner of the SSN Best Speaker Award and consecutive Outstanding Student Compere Awards, Pranav is a national-level debating champion from IIT Madras, winner of one of Asia’s largest online quiz contests from Anna University and finalist in the ‘Talk your way to Japan’ contest. He was invited, as one of the youngest speakers, to ThinkEdu Conclave 2014, an annual education conclave for the country’s political and business leaders.

He’s interned with organisations like Renault Nissan and TVS, has research publications in reputed journals in the fields of Economics and Decision Sciences, founded the Interact Club in school, worked with Lakshya’s Teach a School initiative as well as with Teach for India and spearheaded a bevy of other social endeavours before graduation. Pranav was part of the prestigious Young India Fellowship from which he graduated in 2016 at the top of his class. During this period, he studied under economists like Mihir Shah and A.K. Shiva Kumar, learning the nuances of policy and going on to use online journalism to critique the breaches between policy and implementation/ His interest in climate change journalism also comes, in no small measure, from his passion for wildlife conservation.

As part of Climate Tracker, he hopes to sharpen his skills in climate change advocacy and journalism-activism and meet individuals who aren’t afraid to lend their voices to the cause.

photo2Farshad Usyan, 23, was born in Mazar-i-sharif, northern city of Afghanistan. Photography became his preferred way to expose untold stories and share my ideas with people.

With a keen interest in documentary projects, he uses his camera to tell stories with a social message. He started working as a photojournalist and reporter in northern region of Afghanistan for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in March 2013. He is currently pursuing projects that illuminate social, educational and environmental issues. Aside from this, he is also currently completing my final year at the medical university in Mazar-i-sharif regional hospital.

He is also a volunteer social and environmental activist for more than 3 years and is a member of organizations in Afghanistan such as SAJNA (Social Association of Journalists in North Afghanistan), New Positive Generation Organization, and Nasl-e-Roshan social organization.


Munazza Anwaar is a freelance Pakistani Photojournalist/Documentary Photographer and a story-teller, based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Her photo-stories focuses on the challenges faced by ordinary people in their everyday lives.

She’s a contributing photographer at Getty Images since 2011. Her work has appeared in Newzulu, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Dawn News (Pakistan), The Turban Times (MiddleEast) & Express Tribune(Pakistan) and online editions of various publications. She’s been featured by “Creatyst (a community of young passionate storytellers from around the world)”, and “my voice unheard (a project highlighting those Pakistani individuals who are making social & humanitarian changes through their work).

Her travels through most vulnerable areas & communities living under disastrous effects of climate change in Pakistan has made her interested in writing and documenting photostories that shows the human consequences of climate change. She dreams of becoming a dedicated, extreme weather documentarian to highlight environmental issues, encourage people to adapt healthy and prudent lifestyle in dealing with this era of increasing weather challenges through her stories.

She believes her job is not to write stories and take pictures of what people want to see, but rather forcing them to look the issues in face.

unnamedRukshana Rizwie is a writer, journalist and currently serving as the Deputy News Editor at the Sunday Observer in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her areas of interest include rural development, agriculture, sustainable development, renewable energy, environment and climate change, women’s empowerment and foreign policy.  She is an alumni of Thomson Reuters Foundation and has worked as a journalist in Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

She has been reporting in climate change for many years. Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable and she felt it was important to keep the conversation going in the media. In every article she has written, she has brought the climate change aspect, with the hope of shedding some light on the issue. It then caught the attention on IFAD and she was selected to be part of a media fellowship to Italy this year, where the focus was on rural poverty and climate change.


Zunaira is a doctor by profession who completed her studies from PMC. She further studied health and disaster managment at Islamabad.

She worked in UNICEF in Pakistan and has always been interested to work for people who are affected by climate extremes and natural calamities. The most exciting thing she has done in last 3 months is to serve the people affected heat stroke and floods in Northern Pakistan.

Currently, she is working as a health and disaster management coordinator at TDF.

About Renee Juliene Karunungan

Renee, from the Philippines, is currently Climate Tracker's Outreach Manager. She was a Climate Tracker fellow and was named by The Guardian as one of the "Young Climate Campaigners to Watch Before the UN Paris Summit" in 2015.