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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
ceenario 104
October 1-31, 2014
Eco Schools of the UAE
An eco school teacher of the UAE.

Capacity Building Teachers to facilitate change processes in Eco Schools of the UAE

The final phase of the 8 month long Green Teacher-Eco Schools Programme, offered to Eco School teachers of the UAE, was organized at Al Ittihad Mamzar School, Dubai, during the last week of October 2014.

The Programme, an off shoot of the Green Teacher Diploma offered by CEE India, is a year-long Diploma in sustainability education that has been adapted to suit the needs of teachers leading the Eco Schools initiative in their schools, under the auspices of EWS-WWF. It offers 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 within the school set up.

The programme was offered in a blended mode — face to face and distance learning - and had teachers putting forth their projects before a panel, which comprised of the funding agency of the programme HSBC - Dubai and the programme partners EWS-WWF and CEE. Teachers were assessed on their micro-projects during their viva. Since this was the final phase, focused group discussions with teachers and the partner agency was held too, to understand areas of improvement under this programme. This batch (2013-14) is being implemented as the pilot programme.

EWS-WWF Dubai is the nodal agency that is engaged in facilitating the Eco Schools Programme in the UAE. 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. A set of two modules, one titled ‘Understanding Sustainability Education’ and the other ‘Working with Children’ were developed under this initiative.

Global Hand Washing Day
A child washing her hand by following the 5 steps of handwashing.

Global Hand Washing Day celebrated; school children sensitized on the importance of hand-washing

With support from UNICEF, CEE celebrated the Global Hand Washing Day (October 15) for an entire week, beginning from 13-18 October, 2014, in 5 Gram Panchayats (Khardauri, Baibheet, Sahdeiya, Vishambharpur and Chawai Bujurg) of Nyay Panchayat Khardauri, Balrampur district UP.

1061 participants comprising of school children, principals, teachers, anganwadi children, gram pradhan, parents of the children, and other villagers, learnt about personal hygiene and its importance. Children and their parents were also shown the steps involved in hand-washing.

Speaking about the event, Mr. Sumit Verma from CEE Himalaya said, “15th October is celebrated globally as Hand Washing day. Most of us usually do not bother to wash our hands, especially before having a meal. The germs on our hands get inside our body and cause illness. Inculcating the habit of washing our hands can save us from getting infected by many diseases.”

The CEE team also shared facts and highlighted the importance of hand-washing. To test the awareness of children, a quiz on the day-to-day activities was conducted. The participants also took a pledge to keep their homes and village clean.

Earthian Paryavaranmitra
Paper bits being layered to facilitate absorption of moisture.

Managing organic waste at school and home

CEE Kolkata in collaboration with Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited (CESC Ltd.) has been implementing the Urja Chetana programme since 2012. The programme has benefitted schools in and around Kolkata on vivid areas of environment and sustainable development. It has been empowering the eco-club members with knowledge and practical exposure on conservation of nature and natural resources.

Waste management was the crux of the programme where a workshop on organic waste management was conducted on 29th October, 2014. This hands-on-workshop with practical session on initiating composting of organic waste at school level was taken by experts from CEE and The Agri-Horticultural Society of India (TAHSI). The workshop also introduced the concept of Bokashi farming and use of effective microorganisms in composting process to fasten the process as well as to reduce the odour generated in the course. Around 70 students and teachers from 20.schools across the region participated in the workshop. Under the project, 15 schools in the region have already started composting process at the pilot level and are also recycling collected paper waste through handmade paper making kits.

Sariska Wildlife Interpretation centre
Informative panels at the Sariska Wildlife Interpretation centre keep the children engrossed.

Wildlife week celebration at Sariska, Rajasthan

CEE Jaipur, along with Rajasthan State Bharat Scouts and Guides, organized a wildlife week at the Sariska wildlife sanctuary, Alwar. School children from different schools, along with their teachers, assembled at Sariska’s wildlife interpretation center which has informative panels that gave them a broader idea about the tiger reserve. The students were also shown a movie on tigers which briefed them about its status regarding the numbers, their behaviour and their interaction with the prey.

This was followed up by a discussion with the students, explaining them about the importance of wildlife week. They were kept engaged in activities like painting, tattoo drawing, essay writing and slogan writing, which made them think about the varied aspects of wildlife and environment in a fun manner. Students were later taken to trail at Sariska where they observed mammals such as Chital, Sambhar, wild pigs and Nilgai. Activities like bird watching made the students familiar about the local bird species and their importance.

The students also got engaged in the activity called “Web of life” in which each one was given a card with an image imprinted on it. This image was of something (animal, bird) that played a role in the ecosystem, and the students were asked to link these components to one another, thus giving them an idea that how the smallest of the component if harmed can cause imbalance and could affect our living. Students who performed well in the activities were given prizes.

Wildlife week celebration at Sariska

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 [email protected]

Prakriti Bus
Communicator explains the bus panels to vice chancellor of Lucknow University.

Youth visit Prakriti Bus at University of Lucknow

On 27th October 2014, a formal launch event was organized for the arrival of Prakriti Bus at the University of Lucknow campus. The Chief Guest Honorable Vice Chancellor Prof. S. B. Nimse launched the bus by cutting the ribbon, in the presence of Ms. Pratibha Singh, Secretary UPSBB, Prof. Madhu Tripathi, Head of Department, Zoology Department, Dr. Amita Kanaujia, Associate Professor, Zoology Department, Ms. Preeti R. Kanaujia, Regional Coordinator, CEE North and students and research scholars of the science faculty.

The Honorable Vice Chancellor also visited the biodiversity exhibition, where he was explained the various sections and panels of the mobile exhibition, by the communicators’ team.
In his remarks, Prof. Nimse commented that the Prakriti Bus initiative was an innovative and well-articulated one. He said that it will help the students to understand the rich bio-diversity of India in general and UP in particular. Youth from various faculties visited the bus and interacted with the communicators.

Students getting a close view of the bus.

Prakriti Bus reaches Barabanki district

As part of the Prakriti Bus visit plan to cover the schools and community of the nearby districts of Lucknow, the bus was taken to the Barabanki district on 9th October 2014. To start the bus visit in the schools and community of Barabanki district, CEE planned it as a ceremonial inauguration event at the Government Girls Inter College. Chief guest Mr. Ramsharan Singh, District Inspector of Schools (DIOS), inaugurated the bus in the presence of dignitaries including Mr. Arun Kumar, ACF, UP Forest Department Barabanki, Mr. Ramji Shrivastava, Scientist UPSBB, Dr. Amita Kanaujia, Associate Professor, Lucknow University, Ms. Preeti R. Kanaujia, Regional Coordinator, CEE North and Ms. Meera Kumari Yadav, Principal, GGIC, Barabanki. Uttar Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (UPSBB), Lucknow University and Centre for Environment Education (CEE) jointly organized an event for school children where the students participated in various competitions.

Prior to the inauguration of the Prakriti Bus, a competition was organized for the students, which witnessed participation from nearly 78 students of class 6th, 7th and 8th. Students put forth their thoughts through paintings, slogans and poems, on the theme “Save Biodiversity- Save Life”. The programme concluded with the prize and certificate distribution to the winners.

The bus stayed in the district for over 3 weeks and visited more than 20 schools.

Environment education activities at Scouts and Guides camp

On invitation from Rajasthan State Bharat Scouts and Guides, the CEE Jaipur team organized a session on Environment education activities for children in a block level Scouts and Guides camp at Churu on 10th October, 2014. CEE is the resource agency of National Green Corps Programme (NGC) in Rajasthan, and children from various schools, enrolled under the NGC programme, attended this camp. The session was initiated through an environmental game - Web of Life. The activity gave them a wider view about biodiversity and elucidated how each and every component on this earth is related to one another, and that, even a slight disturbance to any one of it will result in severe damage to our ecosystem. The session concluded with a discussion on the role of eco-clubs in awareness generation, and the roles and responsibilities of eco-club members.

iverse life forms
The winners of Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2013.

Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2013

The Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar, a national event to acknowledge the exemplary efforts in environment education, was organized on October 14, 2014, at CEE Ahmedabad. The annual awards for the year 2013 - given to schools, teachers and students for excellent efforts in environment education and education for sustainable development through curricular classroom activities and action projects - were presented by eminent professionals in the field of Environment and Education.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ashok Khosla, Chairman - Development Alternatives, Former Director - UNEP and Former President - IUCN, emphasized on the role of education in making the right choices towards sustainable development, drawing inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi's famous talisman.
Shri Devinder Arora, CSR Head, ArcelorMittal India, who was also a jury member, pointed out to the imminent need for capacity building teachers to carry out curriculum linked activities and action projects addressing local environmental issues.

Other dignitaries to grace the event included Dr. G. V. Subrahmanyam, Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr. Prasad R. Menon, Chairman, Tata Singapore Airlines, Mr. S.K. Mukherjee, Ex Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. (Ms.) Shobita Punja, Chief Executive Officer, National Culture Fund, Ms. Kalpana Sharma, Independent Journalist/Columnist, Dr. Mahfuza Rahman, Faculty, Gauhati University, Geography Department, Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, CEE, Ms. Mamata Pandya, Senior Programme Director, CEE, and Mr. Madhu Menon, ANALA Outdoors.

Earthian Paryavaranmitra
Mr. Ramesh Savalia making the presentation on Gram Nidhi - CEE’s community based ESD approach

Gram Nidhi presented at ESD workshops

CEE is a partner for the ‘Asia Good ESD Practice Project (AGEPP)’ of ESD-J, which aims to document the outreach efforts for local sustainability by NGOs in remote and marginalized areas. The partner NGOs to AGEPP established the ‘Asia NGO Network on ESD (ANNE)’, so as to increase the opportunities for accessing relevant information of ESD/DESD and for sharing good practices and the challenges that they face. CEE is also a member to ANNE.

In 2014, ANNE members initiated a project called “Development of Sustainable Asian Communities based on Conservation and Appropriate Use of Biological Diversity”. This project aims to elaborate local community empowerment experiences in Gram Nidhi project of CEE and develop a training module based on the same.

As part of commenting and finalizing the draft module developed by CEE on Gram Nidhi, Mr. Ramesh Savalia and Mr. Suman Rathod participated in the “Asia NGO Network on ESD International Workshop” at Okayama, Japan. The partner NGOs, together, also held a formal ANNE launching ceremony and workshops on “Development of Sustainable Asian Communities based on Conservation and Appropriate”. Mr. Ramesh Savalia made a presentation on the case of Gram Nidhi as CEE’s community based ESD approach during this workshop.

In addition, the city of Okayama had been organizing the “Kominkan-CLC International Conference on ESD (K-C ICE)” on 9-12 October 2014, in relation to the “UNESCO World Conference on ESD” in Nagoya, Japan. Mr. Ramesh Savalia also facilitated a day-long break out session on “Environment Conservation” during the conference.

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