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'Our main objective is to bring about the awareness through literature for the problem of climate change is not something abstract but real. Good news is that both India and EU share a strong relationship and similar views on the problem', says an EU envoy.

Like every year, Hall No 7, at the 26th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair, was dedicated to the annual theme and the foreign guest of Asia’s largest book fair. Environment and Climate Change was the 2018 theme. The European Union played the part of the Guest of Honour for this year’s ‘green fair’. Although the foreign pavilion appeared to be a private affair, mostly amongst the EU members and their publishers, the well-lit and beautifully decorated ‘green pavilion’ attracted a large crowd.

Apart from showcasing hundreds of books on the environment in different languages, the green pavilion in collaboration with EU, also hosted an environmental protection photo exhibition at the venue. As many as 35 events including book releases, workshops for children and discussions on issues prevalent in the international publishing too place within the span of nine days.

At the WBF Press Conference, Raimund Magis, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation flagged the recent debates around the Paris Summit (the 2017 Paris climate accord or Paris climate agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. It is in this summit that President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement to mitigate Climate Change).

Emphasising the need to vouch for the ‘environment talks’, the envoy told Book Link, ‘In the past few months, we chose the most important tool that we have internationally and it was discussed a lot in the news for some good reasons and for some not so very good reasons. And when it comes to combating issues like climate change and environment. we just cannot sit back and wait for the government alone to act’.

Such programmes need actual people to understand its importance, he added, ‘because it affects them. Our main objective is to bring about the awareness through literature for the problem that we face is not something abstract but real. Good news is that both India and EU share a strong relationship and similar views on the problem’.

Out of 26 countries mentioned on the schedule and event list, quite a few countries were missing while amongst those present were Mexico, USA, UK, Iran, Nepal, Abu Dhabi, Slovenia, China, France at the main platform.

EU, however, remained one of the main highlights of the fair all along, but given the very little space that the foreign pavilion occupied this year, we asked Assistant Director of PR & Exhibitions (NBT), Kanchan Wanchoo Sharma about the feedbacks from foreign publishers and delegates. ‘They are very happy with the facilities that we have provided them. We have given them B2B (Business to Business) facilities free along with an International event corner. Whereas at international fairs like the Frankfurt Book Fair, they charge 800 euros. We are also promoting them through our press releases, daily newspapers and advertisements’, she said. Though the foreign pavilion turned out to be quite a success according to the officials, the question on how the NBT is going to further continue to promote its green theme went unanswered.



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