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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
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January 1-31, 2014
Nandanavanam
Similipal Tiger Reserve

Home of the Tiger

A nature interpretation centre “Home of the Tiger” was successfully installed at Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj District of Odisha state. The Interpretation Centre was conceptualized, designed and developed and by the Protected Area Interpretation and Eco-tourism (PAIE) group, and Graphic and Exhibit Studio at CEE, Ahmedabad.

The Interpretation Centre gives information about the unique biodiversity of the Similipal Tiger Reserve to the visiting tourists. Different rooms in the Centre showcase various themes such as top predatory animals in Similipal; life of a tiger; major animal species of Similipal; elephant ecology, tribal communities residing in and around Similipal, and threats and issues faced by the tiger reserve and management and conservation of the Reserve. Outdoor waysides placed on the campus of the Interpretation Centre give information about the forest and some species.

The information is presented through a variety of media like photo-text panels, life-size models and dioramas, and a touch-screen interactive. 

Village Leaders Promote Quality Education for All

The Rural Programmes Group of the Centre is implementing ‘Anandshala Plus’ programme in Halvad and South Gujarat since July 2013. The project aims at ensuring that every child in the age group 6-14 has access to basic and quality education. For the purpose, this project is closely working with those children who are either highly irregular or are not going to school at all for various reasons. The project seeks to involve various stakeholders from local communities to the education department of the State to demonstrate an empirical model.  

To seek communities support in ensuring that children, especially the migrant children attend nearest government primary school, a dialogue with village leaders was organized on January 31 at the Centre’s Rural Knowledge Centre, Halvad, serving as the Resource Centre under this project. The meeting aimed at orienting stakeholders about this programme and also in seeking their suggestions and support. The village leaders ensured that they would take responsibility to register the migrant children. Suggestions like creating transport facility or hostel were also discussed. In all, 11 village leaders remained present in this meeting.

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The bricks made from steel rolling ETP sludge were displayed at the event.

Bringing Steel and Brick Industries Together

The Sustainable Business and the Climate Change Unit of CEE is working closely with industries to develop solutions for waste management. Through CEE’s Knowledge Centre on Hazardous Sustainable Waste Management, Naroda Enviro Projects Ltd. (NEPL) held a roundtable meeting with Steel Rolling manufacturing industries and brick manufacturing industries.

At this meeting, Mr. Praveen Prakash, Programme Coordinator, CEE presented the ongoing research on utilizing ‘waste-as-resource’ and shared efforts in creating a waste exchange network for industrial solid waste. He presented the background and also highlighted the need to address waste reutilization among the industrial fraternity especially small and medium scale industries. 

Mr. Vatsalya Shukla, Programme Officer, CEE talked about the trials conducted by the steel rolling mill industries for reutilizing the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) sludge in brick and block making industries, in addition to the methodology adopted in the process of making bricks.  The bricks made from steel rolling ETP sludge were displayed at the event.

The speakers at event included officials from Gujarat Pollution Control Board, representatives of industrial association and participating industries..

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The winning schools being felicitated with the Earthian Award.

Promoting Divergent Thinking on Water and Sustainability Issues

2013 was declared as the International Year of Water Cooperation. To develop an understanding on ‘Water and Sustainability’ through project-based learning in schools, the CEE Jaipur team introduced the Earthian programme among the school network in Rajasthan.

Earthian, a Wipro Limited Initiative, is a national programme to integrate sustainability thinking in education. This program requires a common set of activities to be done by students related to water trail, quality, and demand, in their immediate environment. This engagement develops a better understanding of issues related to water and sustainability.

For this programme, about 2000 schools received resource material in Hindi with information about activities of the Earthian Programme. CEE Jaipur in partnership with the Rajasthan State Bharat Scouts and Guides organised capacity building workshops for teachers in seven districts of Rajasthan who facilitated the programme in their schools. Two Government schools of Rajasthan were selected for the 2013 Earthian Awards. They are the Government Secondary School of Sartara, Sirohi and the Government Jain Gurukul Senior Secondary School, Beawar, Ajmer. The winning schools were felicitated with the Earthian Award in an event held at Bangalore on January 18-19.

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Engaging communities in the participatory appraisal process.

Nabadiganta: An initiative towards Flyash management

CEE Kolkata has partnered with The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited to address the problem of prolonged persistence of fly ash in one of the regions of South 24 Parganas of West Bengal.  The programme named Nabadiganta aims to develop a green belt across the affected area by engaging communities, along with conducting a pilot experiment in scientific fly ash reclamation in the area. Various community-based activities such as livelihood skill training; resource mapping; Participatory Rural Appraisal; and awareness programmes form an integral part of the project.

Under this project, the CEE team conducted baseline survey; two rounds of participatory rural appraisal, and two community awareness meetings, with support from local volunteers. In order to obtain inputs for a suitable strategy for plantation and reclamation experiment, field visits were organized by CEE. Experts from scientific institutions and Forest Departments were also present on these field visits.

CEEMUN
Life Cycle Analysis of an orange and processed orange juice.

Facilitating Change Processes in
Eco Schools of Dubai

The teacher not only constitutes the ‘point of action’ but also the ‘change agent’ in a school. Strengthening teachers’ capacity and ingenuity in leading school level initiatives becomes a crucial need. It is this need that the Green Teacher-Eco School Programme, a joint initiative of CEE India and Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS)- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), United Arab Emrites (UAE), hopes to meet. EWS-WWF Dubai is the nodal agency that is engaged in facilitating Eco Schools Programme in the UAE. The pilot programme under this initiative is underway.

The Green Teacher-Eco Schools Programme offers Eco School teachers of the UAE an opportunity to empower themselves with the requisite knowledge and skills for effective transaction of concepts in environment and development, in the classroom situation. This is an 8 month long programme, offered in a blended mode with face-to-face contact session and distance learning.

The 3-day second contact session was organized in Sharjah in the last week of January 2014. This contact session provided the participants an opportunity to discuss their Eco School micro-project ideas with resource persons. It also helped develop a basic understanding among these teachers of the project management skills that are required of them in order to bring about the planned change as envisioned in their action projects where the teachers are facilitators and the students lead the process of change.The pilot batch of Green Teachers will continue to be a part of the Green Teacher UAE network and will become the torch bearers for a number of activities of this Programme in the future.

Experiencing Nature Programmes

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Can you spot the bird?

Bird Fair

The Dungarpur district administration of Rajasthan organized a two-day bird fair on December 21 and 22 with the objective of creating awareness among local people and school children about the diversity of birds found in and around the Dungarpur. The bird watchers from various places were introduced to wetlands of Dungarpur.

The event was supported by UNICEF Rajasthan. CEE; Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS); World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many other organizations were partners for the event. The main programme was held at Gaib Sagar Lake on December 21 where children participated in bird watching, bird quiz and painting competition. All children received a package including a bird workbook by CEE (Pakshi Nirikshan Pustika), an introductory colourful booklet about birds of Dungarpur (developed by Dungarpur district administration for the event), a bird nest and a cap with the fair logo.

Mr. Santosh Gupta, Programme Coordinator from CEE conducted a session on how could one use this bird workbook. Around 550 students, many of whom were from National Green Corps (NGC) participated in these activities. A workshop about bird conservation was organized at the Collectorate on the same day, in which 150 bird watchers took part.
Dr. Asad Rahmani, Director, BNHS was chief guest of the event. Dr Rahmani also conducted a workshop about bird census on
December 22. The second day of the event was open for people of all walks of life to visit the main venue to observe birds.

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A volunteer of Sundarvan shows a Russell Viper’s slough

Sundarvan, CEE's Nature Discovery Centre

About 25 students of the Science Club of Delhi Public School, Vijaipur, Madhya Pradesh, visited Sundarvan on January 17. The visit comprised of a guided zoo visit; nature trail; snake and bat awareness programmes, and interactive sessions. Sundarvan is recognized as a mini-zoo by the Central Zoo Authority, Government of India. It has a collection of reptiles, birds and small animals.

Handprint

Happenings at CEE’s Information and Facilitation Centre

Safe Festival Campaign - Save our Birds

CEE’s Information Facilitation Centre was actively engaged towards making Uttarayan, the annual Kite Flying festival, a safe one. Mailers were designed with the aim of raising awareness on avoiding the use of Chinese manja (kiteline) to fly kites. The Chinese manja is made of metallic/nylon yarn with an abrasive coat of crushed glass gummed on to it, making it razor sharp and non-biodegradable. These kite lines are hard to spot from a distance, and pose a serious threat to flying birds, many of whom end up flying into these lines, or get entangled in them. Helpline numbers also were provided to people, to report cases of birds being entangled, wounded, hurt among others during this festival.

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Hands-on paper making.

Managing Waste in Schools Creatively

The Urjachetana project implemented by CEE Kolkata under the CSR initiative of Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited (CESC Ltd) is an initiative to generate awareness and action amongst students, teachers and the community on energy conservation and waste management.

To complement the academic knowledge of the students, CEE organized a Hands-on workshop on composting and waste recycling. One teacher and two students from various schools participated in this two-day workshop. There were discussions on composting, reuse and recycling the waste generated in schools and using the waste from the mid-day meal for composting. The students went through an entire process of composting on a do-it-yourself mode, in the school campus. Experts from Nirupama Academy of Handmade Paper guided students to make handmade paper using paper making starters. Demonstration sessions on paper bag and envelope making, using the waste/old newspapers were also conducted by experts. The composting and handmade paper making starter kits were also provided to the participating schools to initiate the waste recycling activities in their respective schools.

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 cee.envis@ceeindia.org

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© CEE 2013 Editorial team: Mamata Pandya, Carol Dsouza, Design: Pankaj Gorana