Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 11)

CEE facilitated, and participated in, a number of events at CBD COP 11 held in Hyderabad, India from October 8-19, 2012. The United Nations Conference saw the participation of delegates from 170 countries representing a wide range of sectors.

Dr. Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD and Dr. Shailaja Ravindranath, Programme Director, CEE signs the MoU initiating a partnership with the CBD

October 19

Initiating a New Partnership

On the last day of the COP 11, October 19, the highlight for the ESD community was the signing of an MoU between the CBD Secretariat and the Centre for Environment Education, India (CEE) to work together in developing and implementing an educational strategy and plans of action that are supportive to the objectives of CBD, the strategic plan and the Decade on Biodiversity, and the objectives of education for sustainable development. The task includes collaboration on foundational research, engaging relevant partners and stakeholders for wider sharing of information, learning, implementation and scaling up.

October 13-14

International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Education for Sustainable Development: Learning to Conserve Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World

This parallel event was organized and hosted by CEE and Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India in partnership with CBD, UNESCO, UNEP, GEF SGP/UNDP and NBA. The objectives of this event were to reflect upon scope, issues and challenges of education for biodiversity conservation in the context of ESD, and share experiences and best practices in biodiversity conservation education. The two day conference included Plenary Sessions which focused on values and ethics in biodiversity conservation, Aichi Targets; and four thematic working group sessions focusing on biodiversity and formal education; biodiversity and non formal education; rural communities and sustainable livelihoods; and urban industrial growth and conservation.

Some key recommendations which emerged out of the plenary and working group sessions are: farmers be made aware of issue related to food security and seed security when faced with choices of new seeds; engagement with and experience of nature was felt to be critical for children with the strong suggestion that every school going child must have at least one nature camping/residential field study experience; school syllabi should have local specific content on biodiversity; college students and youth be engaged in biodiversity monitoring; traditional practices wherever relevant be highlighted for their sustainable approach to biodiversity; consultative processes be favoured for decision making. The outcome document is available on www.ceeindia.org

During this parallel event, the annual awards of the Paryavaran Mitra programme were presented to students, schools, and districts of India recognizing efforts in environment education and education for sustainable development through curricular classroom activities and action projects.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Purandeshwari Daggubati, Minsiter of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Panelists for the Inaugural Plenary Session included (left to right) Ms. Fumiko Fukuoka, Deputy Global Manager, GEF SGP UNDP; Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, CEE; Ms. Purandeshwari; Mr. Neil Pratt, Senior Environmental Affairs Officer, Outreach and Major Group, CBD; Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka; Dr. Mohammed Sessay, Senior Programme Manager, Land Degredation and Regional Focal Point for Anglophone, Africa, UNEP.

The children's choice for National Microbe is Lactobascillus who makes yummy dahi and paneer

October 17

Education for Biodiversity Conservation: CEE Side Event

This high-level side event was organized on October 17, by CEE with an aim to share the outcomes of the parallel workshop 'International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Education for Sustainable Development' held on October 13-14.

During this event, in the presence of Ms. Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France, the Indian Minister, Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, Ministry of Environment and Forests announced the Children's choice of 'National Microbe' obtained by voting through website, postcards and by voting machine on Science Express Biodiversity Special Train. Dr. Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD appreciated the idea of voting for National Microbe and the Handprint concept.

Ms. Delhpine Batho (French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy), Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan (Indian Minister of Environment and Forests), Dr. Braulio Dias (Executive Secretary CBD) and Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, (Director, CEE) launched two publications - the 'Outcome Document on Education and Biodiversity Conservation' and the Handprint Booklet.

CEE's engagement in other events at CBD COP 11

October 8

RCEs and Biodiversity: Local Solutions Linking Education and Implementation

Panelists shared experiences and best practices

A side event was organized by United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) in which selected Regional Centres of Excellence (RCEs) from the Asia Pacific Region shared experiences and best practices that highlighted their work to improve and conserve biodiversity through various educational activities. Dr. Abdhesh Gangwar, Programme Director, CEE represented RCE Srinagar and shared experience of conserving medicinal and aromatic plant (MAPs) diversity in the Indian Himalayan Region by reconnecting youth with herbal health care, generating employment and livelihood through use and cultivation of MAPs. He stressed upon the need of having an effective communication strategy involving various stakeholders, for the successful implementation of the project.

October 10

Handprint – Action Towards Sustainability

A student from Zilla Parishad High School, Andhra Pradesh sharing Handprint initiatives of her school

CEE organized a side event 'Handprint – Action Towards Sustainability' in the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Fair. The Handprint concept launched by CEE at UNESCO's 4th International Conference in 2007, is the symbol of, measure for, and commitment to positive action towards sustainability. This event helped to share the concept of Handprint and its use in five different ways (positive and tangible action and projects, a tool to calculate, commitment, caring attitude, and networking and collaboration) in different parts of India and the world. Participants and speakers shared their views about how they recognize and identify relevance of their work to the Handprint concept. A resource booklet 'Handprint – Positive Action towards Biodiversity Conservation' was developed after this event which includes information about the concept, its use in different contexts, and views in the form of voices of participants. More information is available on www.handprint.in and www.cbd.int/cepa/fair/2012

Young India for Biodiversity- COP 11

"Young India for Biodiversity", a side event for students of the National Green Corps (NGC) was held at Hyderabad from October 10-12 during COP 11. 73 students and 38 teachers, 8 NGC state nodal agencies and 9 resource agency coordinators participated in the event. The main objective of the event was to present a strategic plan of NGC for the next decade towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Students enthusiastically took part in several activities including sharing their views in the form of "wish" and "will" for biodiversity protection. Teachers and nodal agency coordinators also shared their thoughts on various issues and possible solutions for biodiversity through the NGC programme.

During the three day event, students set up an exhibition to showcase their efforts for biodiversity conservation through various activities at school level. Short movies based on biodiversity conservation were also screened. Students also debated on several issues related to biodiversity, and discussed the possible actions to conserve biodiversity at their level.

A Tiger on the Train: Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS)

CEE has developed a short film on the Science Express for the Ministry of Environment and Forests. This film is one of the two films commissioned to CEE to highlight the Science Express and its role in creating awareness across the country through this unique medium. The short film "A Tiger on the Train" was showcased on October 10 at the special side event organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India to welcome the Science Express Biodiversity Special as the Brand Ambassador, to COP 11. The film was also screened at the High-level Plenary on October 16, to introduce the delegates to the train. The short film focuses on the various components of the train, interactions with visitors and their responses. It provides a snapshot of the unique educational journey this train has undertaken.

Science Communicators of the Science Express Biodiversity Special with panelists of the side event

Biodiversity, Poverty and Development: A Scenario of Indigenous Peoples in India

This side event was organized by Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Indigenous Partners in India to present the issues and challenges being posed to indigenous peoples by mining, mega-dams, privatization of water and rapid loss of biodiversity in indigenous territories. Mr. Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator - GEF/UNDP SGP and Programme Director, CEE joined as a panellist and explained the issues faced in the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP). One of the GEF SGP partners presented the issues faced in conservation of indigenous rice varieties in the Satna region of Madhya Pradesh.

GEF SGP Side Event

A side event was organized on October 10 by GEF SGP at the CEPA Fair where Biodiversity related products from different parts of the world produced as a part of the GEF Small Grants Programme were displayed and presented. Mr. Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator – GEF/UNDP SGP and Programme Director, CEE presented the efforts put by the GEF SGP, CEE in India and linked how the biodiversity products are supporting the livelihood of the community. An on-line catalogue of SGP-supported biodiversity products in partnership with a range of groups working on supply chains was also launched.

October 11

Achievements and Further Development of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI)

This side event was organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and UNU-IAS (IPSI Secretariat). Some members of IPSI shared the outcomes of their work on maintaining and rebuilding socio-ecological production landscapes around the world. Mr. Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator – GEF/UNDP SGP and Programme Director, CEE also shared the initiative taken by CEE for the Landscape Conservation in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

October 12

Equator Initiative Side Event

This side event was organized by UNDP Equator Initiative to share the experience of community involvement in biodiversity conservation. Mr. Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator – GEF/UNDP SGP, and Programme Director, CEE along with one of the GEF SGP partners presented the ways in which communities as a part of the GEF Small Grants Programme in India are working towards the Biodiversity conservation and also encouraging the community empowerment.

October 12-14

Youth for Biodiversity: Unite for a Common Cause

This workshop was organized by the South Asia Youth Environment Network Secretariat, CEE in partnership with TERI and YETI with the support from the NBA and MoEF. This event brought together 40 youth from India to share, discuss and learn about biodiversity concerns and initiatives in conservation, and make recommendations for communication, education, and public awareness from a youth perspective. Participants participated in a panel discussion on Eco-tourism and camping as a means to get closely engaged with biodiversity issues. The youth worked on and developed recommendations for CEPA, using the Aichi Targets. Available in the outcome document on www.ceeindia.org.

Youth sharing their views with Ms. Mirian Vilela, Executive Director, Earth Charter

October 16-19

Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum

The theme of this forum was 'Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods'. The programme allowed youth participants to share their on-the-ground conservation efforts with their peers and wider public. It also enabled them to participate in political discussion by engaging with international leaders during the conference. This year, 34 youth from over 20 countries, most of them from Marine World Heritage Sites, participated in the forum as 'Messengers' representing their sites. Mr. Sagar Suri, Programme Officer from CEE participated in the forum representing the Gujarat Coastline as one of the 8 messengers from India. These youth spent ten days in Sundarbans, Kolkata, India's Marine World Heritage Site to understand human-environment interactions, issues associated with it and developed a declaration for COP. They shared this declaration in Hyderabad, participated in negotiations, and shared their views about marine and coastal biodiversity in a side event on October 17. This event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Govt. of India and was carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), with the support of various international partners.

Youth voices at COP 11

October 17

World Wide Views on Biodiversity

The results from the citizen meetings held in 25 countries on September 15 were shared at the event organized by the Danish Board of Technology. These meetings were organized to help citizens learn about biodiversity issues; make up their minds about them, and express their views. Mr. Atul Pandya, Programme Director, CEE was one of the panelists at the event, shared his views and experience about conducting this meeting in India. He stated that such a process empowers ordinary citizens to provide their inputs for shaping policy. The outcome of this event is that the final resolution draft about future communication initiatives concerning biodiversity calls on all countries to support projects such as World Wide Views on Biodiversity.

Sharing experience about conducting citizens meeting in India

What's Cooking? Tree Diversity on Farms

This side event was organized by the World Agro Forestry Centre which highlighted the role of tree diversity in promoting health and nutrition for local people through provision of food, providing accessible safe wood fuels to cook and medicines to treat disease. Mr. Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator – GEF/UNDP SGP and Programme Director, CEE explained that the involvement of community has helped in understanding the local diversity and its conservation.

October 1-19

Green Haat

More than 20 NGOs displayed forest handicrafts, herbal & medicinal products and forest based food recipes at the Green Haat jointly organized by GEF SGP/UNDP, MoEF and CEE.

Pledge for Life Campaign

The Pledge for Life Campaign jointly organized by NBA, GEF SGP/UNDP, BHEL, Intel, and CEE during COP 11 focused on educating young people in India about the need to preserve biodiversity and then getting them to sign a pledge for catalyzing action for sustainable use of resources. Nearly 1.7 million pledges have been taken in last 4 months in 12 different languages from more than 100 towns and cities in India.

IUCN Exhibition

CEE's exhibition panel showcased biodiversity conservation projects at the IUCN exhibition.

October 8-19

CEPA Fair Exhibition

Information about Handprint concept and its use in Different countries at the kiosk in the CEPA Fair