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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
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April 1-30, 2014
Learning in nature, about nature, for nature.

Nature Tours for Schools of Lucknow

Children’s Forest Programme (CFP) is a programme to develop green campus and to introduce environmental education to create better school environment. The programme focuses on schools - children, teachers, school management and local community. 

Organizing a Nature Tour for each school is one of the major attractions of this programme. Between January to March 2014 CEE North organized 15 such nature tours for last batch of schools of Lucknow. For the nature tour, groups visited Kukrail Forest Reserve, a green lush space famous as crocodile and ghariyal breeding centre. Each nature tour was attended by around 70 to 75 students and 5-7 teachers in-charge. More than 1250 students and teachers took the tour over three months.  

Each nature tour comprises of a 5-6 hour module which includes an orientation about the place, various environmental games and hands on activities with students, taking participants on a trail, visit to interpretation site, and interactive discussions with experts that concludes with a quiz to recap the entire days’ learnings. These nature tours are a favourite with schools and it provides memorable experience to the participants.

CFP project is supported by JICA under UP-PFMPAP (Uttar Pradesh Participatory Forest Management and Poverty Alleviation Project) of Uttar Pradesh Forest Department which is being implemented in six districts with 100 schools in each district. CEE North is implementing CFP in Lucknow.

Representatives from CEE, CEPT, SWEDESD and ICLEI at CEE Ahmedabad for UNESCO Chair meeting

UNESCO Chair Programme

CEE and Centre for Environmental Planning ad Techonology (CEPT) University in cooperation with UNESCO, have established the “UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development and the Human Habitat” at CEE. The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD) and International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) – Local Government for Sustainability are partners for this programme. It is envisioned that this programme would develop higher education courses integrating the concept of sustainable development in architecture and planning and other disciplines dealing with the human habitat. This programme has been planned for four years. Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, CEE  is the chairholder. 

As a part of this programme, CEE and CEPT will offer courses in CEPT’s Summer School programme, Winter School programme, Professional Development Programme, and during regular semester/term. The focus of various courses would be on processes and ways of making cities sustainable.

School bags remind us of resilience and rebuilding faith in Uttarakhand.

Rebuilding Faith: Encouraging Children to go to School

In the aftermath of the floods in Uttarakhand in June 2013, CEE Himalaya under its ‘Rebuilding Faith’ Programme, got involved in the ‘Uttarkashi Cloud Burst, Flash Floods and Landslide Response’. As part of this CEE distributed 2000 school bags with stationery items, in addition to Information, Education and Communication material to disaster-hit students last year, with support from the JSW Foundation.

The CEE and JSW Team found that several groups of school students were carrying these school bags during a recent visit by the CEE Himalaya Team and JSW Foundation representative to the area.

On interacting with the children, the CEE and JSW Team were satisfied to learn that the quality of the bags was high and also that these were being used optimally. CEE Himalaya has been conducting psycho social care, Disaster Risk Rehabilitation awareness, Climate Change Education, Sustainable Mountain Development related programmes in schools and the villages in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.

CEE and JSW Foundation have also taken up reconstruction of 2 schools in the Uttarkashi district. The reconstruction of these schools will support the education of more than 1000 students from over 15 villages.

It was satisfying for the team to see the bag’s use and it was also a true evaluation of the project.


Paryavaran Mitra Award in Bihar

On April 15, CEE North organized the Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2013 Bihar State Event, at Khrist Raja Higher Secondary School, Bettiah. The Chief Guest for the programme Mr. Alok Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, Forest Division 1, Bettiah and Fr. Francis, Principal of the host school lit the lamp at the inaugural session.   

Mr. Kumar interacted with the participants and congratulated the winners. He appreciated the efforts being taken by CEE and partner organizations and ensured the department’s full support to this endeavour. Mr. Sanjay Tiwari, Programme Officer, CEE gave a brief overview of the Paryavaran Mitra Programme and the Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar. He also briefly presented the work done by the winners in each category.

Mr. Kumar awarded the State level Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar to four winner schools, two best teachers, one best student as Young Leader for Change and two best districts. Best district award for West Champaran was received by Mr. Lallan Jha, District Education Officer, West Champaran and the best district award for Rohtas was received by Mr. Nayan Ranjan Verma, District Education Officer, Rohtas.

Three state-level special category awards were also given to individuals and organizations who have taken keen interest in implementing the programme and in encouraging schools to take positive Handprint actions. More than 150 students, teachers, media representatives, and persons from civil society groups attended the awards ceremony.

Who is the best at transforming waste?

Energy Week Celebrations

Energy Week Celebrations were held at five participating schools under the Urjachetana project. This project is being implemented by CEE Kolkata under the CSR initiative of the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited (CESC Ltd).

The celebrations aimed to involve students in action-oriented activities related to energy conservation and waste management. As part of this programme, the energy club students of the school shared their learnings and insights with the entire school at the school assembly. Dissemination of this information at the school level received further impetus through blogs that were designed and developed by students. They also actively participated in the ‘Best from Waste’ competition. Experts from CESC Ltd also actively participated in the weeks’ activities at the school. They shared tips on electrical safety, electrical theft and energy conservation with students and teachers.

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, and it is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries. Several events and programmes on the theme ‘Green Cities’ were held to mark this day at different CEE offices.

At Lucknow

CEE North celebrated Earth Day in collaboration with the Regional Science City, Lucknow. More than 500 students and teachers from 37 NGC schools of the city participated in the event.

Painting and Quiz competitions were held, where more than 250 students expressed their ideas of what a green city is according to them. The quiz consisted of two rounds; the first round was a written test which was followed by an interactive quiz. Around 40 teams participated in the written round of the quiz competition. More than 250 students participated during the Earth Day Painting Competition.

A session on 'Truth about Plastic Bags' was also conducted by Dr. Pradeep Upadhyaya, Chief Manager, Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology. Mr. Upadhyaya stressed on the increasing use of plastic bags, and urged students to follow the five R's of waste management in order to fight the issues arising from excess use of Plastic bags.

Dr. Umesh Rustagi, Project Coordinator, Regional Science City interacted with the students, and through examples, requested them to adopt sustainable practices. He urged students to make their schools and communities plastic free. The programme ended on a high note where students and teachers pledged o take action in their own capacities, and to make their city green.

Expressing the city’s concerns creatively.

At Ahmedabad

This year’s Earth Day theme of 'Green Cities' focused on transportation, water, energy and waste, all of which aligned perfectly with the themes of the 'Create to Inspire' programme held at CEE Ahmedabad. Through the painting and performance (theatre, dance, music) competition, students developed a vision for 'Green' Ahmedabad. A photo-story workshop helped them to think critically and express issues related to the theme. Through a fun quiz, teachers were oriented to sustainability issues of climate change. 

Students and teachers from more than 15 schools participated in this programme and also took back learnings from the work of 12 lead schools who shared their work at the venue. These lead schools had undertaken a survey at house-level on E-waste.

On April 23, teachers from the same schools participated in a day-long interaction on the programme goals and also designed a plan of action for the academic year 2014. The participatory nature of the workshop encouraged teachers to not only delve into the nitty-gritty of the programme, but also enabled them to believe in such initiatives. It supported them to orient students on issues and challenges related to E-waste, sustainable transportation among others that are talked about in the textbooks. It also empowered them to plan and design Handprint actions that revolve around a student’s sphere of influence i.e. a child’s home, school, and community.

Under this initiative, it is being planned, to use action research as a methodology to help teachers evolve as better professionals and support the transaction of complex issues like sustainable consumption and life style choices.

Creative minds and hands.

At Jaipur

A Team from CEE Jaipur and the Rajasthan State Bharat Scouts and Guides (RSBSG) Jaipur and members of the eco-clubs celebrated Earth Day on April 22 at RSBSG divisional headquarters, Jaipur. The event kicked off with a rally aimed at raising awareness among the Jaipurites.  A variety of competitions like poster-making, Rangoli and pot making were organized to bring out the creative persona of the participants.

These competitions focused on environmental challenges and actions that one can undertake at an individual level to combat them towards ‘Greening Cities’, the theme. Through these competitions students shared their ideas to wisely use available resources, through conservation of water, biodiversity, and effective waste management, as a way of their life.The event saw enthusiastic participation of over 500 students from schools of the city along with the teachers who keenly observed and participated in all these activities.

The event culminated with a valediction ceremony presided by Mr. Puran Singh Shekhawat, A.S.O.C, RSBSG ; Honorable Chief Guest Mr. R. P. Gupta, D.C.F Jaipur and Mr. Manphool Vishnoi, A.C.F. Jaipur. Special guests Mr. M. S. Rathore and Ms. Shakuntla Vaishnav, S.O.C, RSBSG were also present. After the valediction address, winners were awarded prizes.

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

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