Conservation Education Workshop for Zoo Educators

A National Workshop on Conservation Education for Zoo Educators was held at Vanvihar National Park, Bhopal from 27 February-02 March 2012.

The objective of the workshop was to expose Zoo Educators to different and innovative zoo education techniques, while also providing a platform to meet, share and discuss their expertise and experience with each other.

Twenty-four participants from 22 zoos across the country participated in the workshop. Many of whom were recently appointed zoo educators.

The workshop sessions were facilitated by resource persons from the Chester Zoo, U.K., Singapore Zoo, Wildlife Institute of India and CEE. A number of activities, surveys, role play and interesting energisers, involving all the participants and the resource persons, made the workshop active and effective.The participants also made presentations based on their daily assignments during the workshop.

Mr. Sartaj Singh, Forest Minister of Madhya Pradesh, inaugurated the workshop. Dr. H.S. Pabla, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden; Mr. T. R. Sharma and Mr. Dharmendra Sharma Addl. PCCF (Wildlife); Mr. B.S. Bonal, Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority, and Mr. B.P.S Parihar, Director, Van Vihar National Park were among the dignitaries who enthused the participants.

It has been made mandatory for every zoo in India to employ one veterinarian, one zoo educator and necessary staff.

Paryavaran Mitra Initiatives

Celebrating World Water Day 2012

A variety of activities were carried out in schools including essay competition, poster making, street plays, water audits and debates, etc.

To mark the importance of water UN declared 22 March as World Water Day. Each year the UN identifies a theme as a focus of the World Water Day and this year's theme is Water and Food Security. Several CEE Groups marked this day with different activities. Schools from every state participated in activities related to water. 13 events were conducted across 10 states of the country. The day was celebrated with enthusiasm by the schools in the Paryavaran Mitra network.

The UN World Water Day logo was transadapted and important information on water was developed in Hindi to ensure that the information could be read many people. An interactive webpage was created for the campaign on this year's theme with ideas that students could implement. It also had free material in the form of power point presentations and videos that could be downloaded. This information was widely used by students to better understand the theme, and to use the knowledge to create awareness among the communities. More than 1000 people took part in the online quiz. All the activities were posted on the UN World Water Day 2012 website.

Documenting Views on Water

Capturing people's voices on water related issues

The Youth Programmes Group from CEE and youth volunteers marked this day with a video documenting some of the water related issues faced by communities near Vastrapur Lake, Ahmedabad. Two communities were interviewed in this context. One group represented the residential areas that received 24 hours of water supply, while the other group was from the slums that did not even have enough water for cooking. The people from this group shared problems that they faced and also requested others not to waste water as it was difficult for them to fetch water from distant places. Some senior citizens shared how water was conserved in earlier times and also reminisced about water and its availability as it was 30 years before.

The 8 minute video which was the outcome of this youth initiative features on the UNEP, SAYEN and CEE website.

Water Audit

A water audit was conducted in 50 housing societies of Juhapura by students of F. D. High School, Ahmedabad with the objective of reducing one's water footprint.

The water audit helped in sensitizing students towards the importance of water conservation.

The audit aimed at calculating the actual consumption of water by each family, and comparing the average amount of water used per person in Juhapura with the average amount of water used per person in Ahmedabad. In the process of surveying 150 households, the students became aware of amount of water used in our daily life and amount of water wasted. They now plan to initiate water conservation activities in their area.

ESD at Rio+20

Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, CEE, was the key note speaker at a side event "Education for Sustainable Development Roundtable: Achieving Green Societies through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)". This was organized by UNESCO on behalf of UN Inter-Agency Committee for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development on March 20, 2012, prior to the third intersessional meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in New York, USA.

The aim of this event was to promote the integration of ESD into the Rio+20 Conference as well as to integrate ESD into the Rio+20 Conference outcomes. Mr.Sarabhai highlighted the role that ESD can play in the transitioning to green economies and societies. Other eminent speakers at this event shared their experiences as well.

National Green Corps Zonal Workshop

CEE is the resource agency appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for 15 states and 2 Union Territories of India to provide technical support to the nodal agencies of the respective states for the activities related to the National Green Corps Programme (NGC). NGC is a national programme conceptualized and initiated by the MoEF to sensitize school children about environment, its problems and conservation.

Students had fun as they learnt about energy, water, culture and heritage through games like snakes and ladder, housie and a quiz.

In this role, CEE extended its support to the Nodal Agency for Gujarat, GEER Foundation, Gandhinagar in organizing six zonal workshops for teachers and students. The sixth workshop in this series was held at Sanskardham, Ghuma, Sanand, Ahmedabad by the Social Forestry Division of the Forest Department on 24-25 March 2012.

10 teachers and 25 students from five districts in Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar , Gandhinagar, Kheda, and Surendranagar) participated in the workshop. Current issues and major concerns relating to environment, and the theme 'Forests for People' were discussed. Our role in ensuring the well-being of the forests was highlighted. The workshop also emphasized the need for eco-students to change their attitudes and habits towards safeguarding them.

The two day workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Bharat Pathak, Director, GEER Foundation.The event was organized under the guidance of Mr. D.G. Kuril, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Social Forest Division, Ahmedabad. Mr. K.S. Upadhyaya, Range Forest Officer, Ahmedabad coordinated the same. Mr. Naresh Thakar, Public Relations Officer, Gujarat Pollution and Control Board (GPCB), Gandhinagar; Mr. Rajendrabhai K. Shah, Director, Sanskardham, Godhavi; Mr. K.U. Mistri, Chairman, GPCB, Gandhinagar; Mr. V.K. Bagda from Education Department, Mr. Parthesh Pandya, Programme Coordinator, CEE and NGC District Coordinators, Ahmedabad were present at this workshop.

Through interactive sessions, Mr. Pandya elaborated on the causes and impacts of climate change and also discussed the implications that climate change would have at the global level.

Plastic Recycling by Polyloom

A plastic recycling poly loom training programme was organized by the Waste and Resource Management (WaRM) group at CEE Delhi. The programme aimed at addressing problems caused by plastic carry bags, and reviewing sustainable solutions. It also aimed at creating livelihood options for interested people using discarded plastic bags as a resource, and in getting the community's help in cleaning the environment.

The event was held in collaboration with All India Women Conference and various NGOs and SHGs in Delhi from 13-17 February, 2012 at the AIWC premises Palam Vihar in New Delhi. The training was facilitated by Ms. P.G. Juliet and Ms. Rita from CEE's Ecofriendly Reused & Recycling Unit in Coorg, Karnataka.

The five day event was attended by twelve participants from various NGOs and Self Help Groups.

All the participants were trained in plastic bags recycling and fabrication. The training comprised of different steps like collection of raw material, cleaning of the discarded plastic carry bags, cutting bags into strips, preparing looms and weaving of plastic material into polycot fabric. The participants were also taught fabrication of the plastic woven material to make products like purses and bags on sewing machines. Participation certificates were awarded to them by Dr. Shyamala Mani, Programme Director, CEE.

Director, CEE, on the Scientific Advisory Committee of ENVIS

Kartikeya V Sarabhai, Director, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) has been invited by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, to be on the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Environmental Information System (ENVIS). This committee has been constituted to advise and monitor the ENVIS Programme.

ENVIS, set up in 1982, is a network of subject specific centres to disseminate environmental information. CEE is the ENVIS (Environmental Information System) centre on Environment Education (EE) and it strives to provide information services, and answer queries related to EE and Education for Sustainable Development.

As an ENVIS centre, CEE caters to the information needs of environmental educators. Write in to us with your queries at [email protected]