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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
ceenario 103
September 1-30, 2014
Discussion on ‘Participatory Governance and Smart Cities’ highlighted the need for viewing participation in both structural and procedural manner

Discussion on 'Smart Cities' reviews the development paradigm of urban areas

As part of the workshop - ‘Dialogue on Strengthening Participatory Governance in India’, a panel discussion on ‘Participatory Governance and Smart Cities’ was organized at CEE, Ahmedabad, on 27th September.

Smt. D. Thara, IAS (Chief Executive Officer, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority), Shri Kirtee Shah (Founder Trustee and Hon. Director: Ahmedabad Study Action Group), and Dr. Bhargav Adhvaryu (Associate Professor, Head, Doctoral Office, CEPT University), were the esteemed panellists for the discussion, which was chaired by Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai (Director, Centre for Environment Education). The event was supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Shri Sarabhai opened the discussion by introducing the need for a review of the development paradigm of urban areas, given that over the last century, the form of urban areas has been increasingly shaped by motorized transport.

Smt. D Thara spoke about the need for handling multiple perspectives of different stakeholders in relation to urban issues, and highlighted the evolving concepts of Smart Cities. Dr. Bhargav Adhvaryu stressed that the basics of data and information need to be in place for the idea of Smart Cities to be realized.

Shri Kirtee Shah drew attention to the larger trends of population growth, the impact and relationship of urban areas to rural areas / regional context, and the changes in economic structures which drive urban growth and the challenges of sustainability in relation to these. The need for inclusive development and the challenge of managing informality are two critical areas, he said.

The panellists further drew their thoughts and led the discussion towards required data and information (ICT) for basic services required at city level and the role and responsibility of various stakeholders.

The discussion that ensued brought out the need for having faith in our societal characteristics and checks and balances, the potential of ICT in enhancing information availability and participation, the need for viewing participation in both structural and procedural manner, about citizenship and agency of the marginalized segments, and weaving all these aspects in a systems view of urban areas, urbanization and ‘Smartness’.

Ganges river Dolphin
Each workshop aimed at orienting the teachers in conducting curriculum focused classroom activities using the dolphin educational package.

Ganges river dolphin Cluster Workshops

CEE is implementing the phase II of the Ganges river dolphin programme with support from the National Mission for Clean Ganga, under the National Ganga River Basin Authority. As part of the school component, CEE North is working on 20 locations in Ganga Basin covering 10 each in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. With the initiation of activities, CEE has identified local partner NGOs where school clusters were formed involving 35 schools residing close to the river bank, ranging from 3-5 kilometers.

The cluster level teachers training began in August from Varanasi with the support of Partner NGO and Department of Education at the district level. Each workshop aimed at orienting the teachers on the formation of dolphin clubs in their school, conducting curriculum focused classroom activities using dolphin educational package, and organizing school level and community level awareness programmes.

A river dolphin resource centre school was selected among the cluster schools during the workshop where a set of educational resources including Pani Parikshan Kit and Manual, Dolphin Awareness Campaign banner, posters, reference books etc. were provided for the use of cluster schools. Each cluster developed their strategy for dolphin awareness activities. Over 6 workshops were organized covering Varanasi, Allahabad, Faizabad, Jarwal and Mahsi in Bahraich in UP and Supaul in Bihar. Over 250 teachers participated in the trainings.


Teacher’s training programme and textbook analysis under the Environment Service Scheme

In September 2014, the ‘Environment Service Scheme’ (ESS) team undertook analysis of textbooks of 5th to 10th standard to assess the environment content and to identify potential linkages to activities that may be done by students as part of ESS. This analysis was used to plan the teacher training workshops which were also conducted in September. 53 schools from 6 Administrative Divisions of Maharashtra participated in the workshops. The workshop objective was to help teachers:

  • Understand the structure of the ESS and the roles of different partners
  • Discuss environmental action projects that may be taken up
  • Plan and discuss methodologies for village surveys and local environmental studies
  • Prepare their own plans of action for carrying out the ESS activities in their schools

The Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra, initiated the ESS in Maharashtra in 2011. The objective is to provide students with an opportunity to explore and understand their local environment and natural resources, and undertake hands-on-activities and action projects for local environmental improvement and conservation. The scheme is currently being implemented in 50 schools in 12 districts of Maharashtra.


CEE is the ENVIS centre on Environmental Education (EE). As an ENVIS centre, CEE caters to the information needs of environmental educators. Write to the CEE ENVIS Centre at

iverse life forms
Students learn about diverse life forms and the biodiversity around them.

Sustainability Education Initiative: A campaign on Biodiversity conservation in Rajasthan

Under the Paryavaran Mitra Programme, CEE, along with WIPRO, has put together a Campaign “A Sustainability Education Initiative” focusing on Biodiversity Conservation, by engaging students in tree plantation and creative activities. The campaign aims at inculcating a sense of appreciation among students about the diverse life forms, the biodiversity around them, and thereby also engage them in protection through activities. This will also support the UN Convention on Biological Diversity for Biodiversity Conservation. Under this campaign, schools were given two posters –The Living Variety & About the Campaign – which could be used by teachers to link with the concepts covered in the school curriculum and perform creative activities with students. This helped the students in learning about the local trees and caring for them. 500 saplings were planted in 100 eco-clubs of Rajasthan under this campaign. To generate interest among students and to indulge students in the activities of exploring and observing the life around, these schools have also organized various creative competitions on the theme “Life” or “Life form that attracts them”. These competitions include face painting, poster making, mask making, slogan and essay writing, photography and collections.

Participants with their faces painted.

Nurturing young minds

Sundarvan conducted different activities for students from Shreyas Foundation, Ahmedabad, on 15-16-17 September. Nearly 45 students in the age group of 6 to 9 years actively participated in the activities, which included ice breaker, guided zoo visit, touch table, clay modeling, puppetry, snake awareness programme, face/body painting and adventure activities. Beginning from 8 am to 5 pm, the activities were conducted on all three days at the Sundarvan premises. Each day, the programme concluded with the students sharing their day’s experience.

Yuva Paryavaran Leader Summit organized in Lucknow

CEE North, in association with Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), organized a State level 'Yuva Paryavaran Leader Summit' from 20-24th September in Lucknow. This summit was organized as part of the State level initiative 'Yuva Paryavaran Leader Programme' in Uttar Pradesh. This programme envisaged shortlisting enthusiastic and self-motivated students who are keen to find solutions for environment concerns. A seven step selection process was adopted which began with the registration of schools and their students for the programme in July 2014. The next step involved participation in the online environment test. Students who qualified in the test were asked to submit an essay and the project action plan, while the fourth step involved the telephonic interview of the shortlisted students. Finally, a smaller group of over 50 students of classes 8-11, from 21 schools spread across 11 districts were selected as potential 'Yuva Leaders' for the next step i.e. the Summit.

The main objective of the summit was to provide orientation to the state level cadre of young students who would in turn implement action projects in the area of sustainable development. Around 40 young and dynamic students, 20 proactive teachers, and 2 parents of the selected young leaders from 11 districts of Uttar Pradesh participated in the programme.

The five day summit was inaugurated by chief guest Shri V. N. Garg, Agriculture Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests, UP Government. During the summit, these young leaders got an opportunity to interact with experts working in the field of environment and sustainable development.

Earthian Paryavaranmitra
Participants at the ‘Earthian Paryavaranmitra – Water and Sustainability’ programme

Sustainability & Water – An activity based learning programme for schools and colleges

On 11th-13th September 2014, CEE organized an orientation programme for 3 blocks of Uttarkashi on Earthian Paryavaranmitra – Water and Sustainability, in collaboration with the Education Department at BRC office Dunda, Chinyalisaur and Bhatwari blocks of Uttarkashi.

98 principals, teachers, BRCs, CRCs and BEO of the Education department of all three blocks, attended the orientation programme, which focused at making the participants aware of the water-related issues on mountains and prepare a report on the local data of schools and surrounding areas. The key speakers of the workshop were Mrs. S. P. Rodolla, BEO Dunda, Mr. Anil Kumar, BEO Chinyalisaur and Dr. Kamal Dhari, BEO Bhatwari.

The documentary of Sankalp Diwas, produced by CEE in the memory of flash flood victims of June 13 at Uttarakhand, was screened so as to make the audience aware about water-related issues. Sumit Verma of CEE Lucknow made a presentation covering various aspects like – availability of water, percentage of fresh water, use of water for live supports, limitation of ground water, future without water etc. Aspects of good water practices, sustainable use of water, rain water harvesting and water mills were highlighted during the programme.

The “Earthian Sustainability & Water – An activity based learning programme for schools and colleges” was also discussed in detail. “Earthian is Wipro’s Sustainability Education Program for schools and colleges. Through this programme the aim is to help develop more meaningful sustainability education in the school,” said Sumit Verma, who also added that the theme of the programme was ‘Water’ and that the best schools would be chosen for the Earthian award based on their submissions. Participants were involved in various activities like ‘Nine Dots’ and an activity of identifying the sources of water at their homes. An open group discussion had the teachers talking about various innovative concepts like the water flour mill (Gharat). Participation certificate was also distributed to the participants.

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© CEE 2014 Editorial team: Bindu Prashanth, Design: Pankaj Gorana