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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
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July 16 -31, 2013
The young brains debated, negotiated and came out with resolutions.

Engaging Youth for a Sustainable Future

The CEE Mock United Nations (CEEMUN)  2013 was jointly organized by the South Asia Youth Environment Network, CEE and ‘MUN for Change’ on July 17-18 at CEE, Ahmedabad. Around 80 students from different schools and colleges participated in this two-day event. CEEMUN is a platform where students get an opportunity to debate on crucial sustainability issues such as the conservation of biodiversity; food security; renewable energy sources and poverty. This platform offers opportunities for sensitizing youth on several global issues.

CEEMUN was divided into three committees, namely UNDP, UNEP and FAO. Each participant was placed in any one of these committees and was assigned a country, depending on their preference.

The participants in the UNDP Committee debated on Sustainable Poverty Reduction Programmes; those in UNEP Committee on Renewable Energy Initiatives and Incentives; the FAO Committee discussed Food Security and Malnutrition; and the participants in the International Press covered the discussions of the Committees. An orientation session on
July 16 was organized to enable them to understand the basic working procedures of these committees and also to clarify participants’ doubts.

The opening ceremony of the CEEMUN was graced by Mr. S. S. Mohanty, Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF);
Mr. B. M. S. Rathore, Joint Secretary, MoEF; and Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, CEE. The Hon'ble Guests, in their respective addresses, mentioned the importance of and the need for establishing a dialogue among different countries on tackling international issues.

Nandanavanam Teachers Manual was launched by Mr. N. Chandra Mohan Reddy, Additional Commissioner, GHMC (Urban Biodiversity) on July 16.


Nature Education in Parks

The CEE Andhra Pradesh Office is implementing the Nandanavanam project in 100 government and private schools of Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad districts with the support of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

As part of this programme, an orientation programme for teachers was organized in the month of July for three batches. 109 Head Masters and teachers participated from 65 government schools located in these districts. After this training, teachers conducted nature education activities for students in the parks.

Green Clubs are also an integral component of the project. Green Clubs were formed with a mandate to develop greenery in schools with support from teachers. As a partner to this project, the GHMC would provide these schools with the required saplings.


The nature trail was followed by a discussion that highlighted the differences between the various groups of invertebrates like insects, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, snails and many more.

Happenings at CEE’s Information Facilitation Centre

Enhancing learning experiences in Nature

Grade 8 students from Rachna School, Ahmedabad had an out-of-the-box experience on 24 July. Students visited the CEE campus at Thaltej and also the Manekbag Plot, a green patch of land planted and maintained by CEE. A group of 90 students were divided into two batches and several activities with a ‘learning with fun’ approach were conducted for them.

At Manekbag Mr. Dipak Gohil, Nature Enthusiast oriented children through a nature trail about urban biodiversity in Ahmedabad. During the nature trail at the Campus, CEE Faculty Mr. Kedar Champhekar, Programme Officer and Mr. Ramjee Nagarajan, Progrmme Coordinator helped children focus on observing various invertebrates like insects, spiders, millipedes etc. Students enthusiastically participated in the nature trail despite heavy rains.

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]

The participants at the Ghudkhar Watch comprised young minds, teachers, families and photographers.
Experiencing Nature Programme :

Ghudkhar Watch at Little Rann of Kutch

A field visit to the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat was organized on July 28 The programme was organized to create awareness about ‘Ghudkhar’, or ‘Indian Wild Ass’, only found in the Little Rann of Kutch, world over.

The Ghudkhar is so called owing to its relation and resemblance to the horse meaning ‘Ghud’ and domestic ass called ‘Khur’ in the local language. The idea was to introduce participants to the unique ecosystem of the Little Rann of Kutch, which is sandy during most of the year but turns into a mudflat during monsoons. Given the mudflat conditions of the Rann, it is easier to observe these animals as they come to the periphery. A colony of River Terns was also observed.

A botanical tour to CEE’s Rural Knowledge Centre, Halvad was also conducted. At the Centre they learnt about various medicinal plants and their significance in Ayurveda.

Paryavaran Mitra

Orientation Workshop for Partner Non-Governmental Organizations

CEE-North organized a one-day regional workshop on June 28 at Lucknow. The workshop aimed at providing orientation to partner NGOs from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on the new phase of the Paryavaran Mitra (PM) programme. In the workshop, partner NGOs were guided to prepare their district strategy for working with schools for Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2013. Each NGO is planning to take up a cluster of schools in their districts to promote PM activities.

During the workshop, Mr. Sanjay Kumar from Gram Pragati, Betiah shared the experience of working on Paryavaran Mitra programme. He spoke about the joint efforts of the government and NGOs to involve a large number of schools in various activities. All these efforts led to West Champaran being selected as Best PM District in the year 2012. Similarly, Dr. Rajesh Narain shared a story of one of his students who was selected as the 'Young Leader for Change' in 2012. Both of them also spoke about their future action plans for the PM programme.

Tree Plantation Begins at Children’s Forest Programme Schools  

Children’s Forest Programme (CFP) was initiated in the year 1991 by the Organization for Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement, an international NGO from Japan. The programme is presently being implemented in 27 developing countries. In India, CFP is reaching 1550 schools of various States. CEE-North has been selected as one of the agencies to implement this five-year long programme (2010-2015). In Uttar Pradesh, CFP has been introduced in five districts under the Uttar Pradesh Participatory Forest Management and Poverty Alleviation Project (UP-PFMPAP) of the UP Forest Department, supported by JICA. One hundred schools were selected from each district. The programme is being implemented in 100 schools spread across Lucknow district.

CEE-North is implementing the CFP in 100 schools of Lucknow. Under the programme, plantation in three of the CFP schools began from July 9. The Plantation Ceremony began with briefing of students about the need for plantation and the students’ role as CFP Action Team members in taking care of these plants on their campuses.

Prior to the ceremony students took a pledge to ensure that each sampling planted survives. In each CFP school 70-80 students, teachers, non-teaching staff and community members including Village Education Committee members and parents participated in the ceremony. Students planted 70-100 saplings on their campus as per the availability of space. Also new saplings were planted for mortality replacement as a joint responsibility between the school, community and CEE. Around 10-15 saplings were also distributed among CFP leader students for household plantation. The saplings of arjun, guava, kadamb, kathal, kaitha, mango, neem, sagaun, sheesham,etc. were planted.

By September end plantation covered 100 schools.

State level Workshop on Sharing Strategies for Van Mahotsav
On 24 June at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, Lucknow; CEE-North was invited to make a presentation on the Centre’s experience of greening campuses with special reference to the Children’s Forest Programme being implemented in UP.

Ms. Preeti R. Kanaujia, Regional Coordinator, CEE-North shared experiences from schools and how environmental education as a tool helped in engaging children with the greening initiative. She presented case studies where community participation and networking played a key role in bringing about change. Around 500 participants attended the workshop from all over the State. This included joint forest management and eco-development committee members, forest officials, NGOs, other government departments etc.

Orientation-cum-Exposure Visit of Gram Panchayat Office Bearers

On July 29, under ‘Promoting Sustainable Sanitation in Rural India (PSSRI)’ programme a one-day orientation-cum-exposure visit for office bearers of Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the Behali block was organized by CEE North-East with support from Assam Public Health and Engineering Department (APHED) and Water Supply and Sanitation Organization (WSSO) at Guwahati.

The programme was attended by 23 participants representing GP Presidents, Zilla Parishad Councillor, GP ward members, Block Resource Coordinators of APHED, Biswanath Sub-division, and CEE North East project staff. The objective of the exposure trip was to disseminate information on sanitation and hygiene and thereby increase the construction and use of improved latrines to achieve Open-Defecation Free status.

Key resource persons from APHED and WSSO, Guwahati shared their views and opinions with the participants. From CEE Mr. Pradeep Boro, Associate Programme Officer, In-charge of the Gangtok office, Mr. Simanta Kalita, Programme Coordinator, CEE North East, Mr. Bijoy Goswami, Programme Officer, and Mr. Dharani Saikia, Project Officer also interacted with the participants on the issue during various sessions.

Mr. Nripendra Kumar Sharma, State Coordinator, Total Sanitation Campaign, Assam talked about the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme implementation in the State. During the question-answer hour, Mr. Sharma responded to the queries raised by the participants on the total Sanitation Campaign scheme Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan; the roles and responsibilities of District Water Supply Coordinator; subsidised toilet supply and constructions among others.

An exposure to the Water and Sanitation Park, WSSO, Guwahati was organized too.
Mr. Partha Baruah, Assistant Engineer, WSSO was instrumental in debriefing participants about the water technology park and informed participants about the benefits of using such sanitary toilets and water hand pumps in their households. Participants highly benefited from seeing such technology options in practice, learning about unit cost factors and analysis for using such sanitary and water units in their villages. Mr. Saikia also shared the achievements and activities in details of the first quarter among the participants during the meet.

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© CEE 2013 Editorial team: Kiran Desai, Carol Dsouza, Design: Pankaj Gorana