NGOs Build ESD Network Across Asia

Diverse Representation at the Surabaya Workshop

The Surabaya Workshop on the Asia NGO ESD Network was convened between 1-4 August in Indonesia . It was part of the effort to further discuss the possibility of an Asian ESD network for the civil sector. The idea of such a network was earlier suggested at the Asia Good ESD Practice Research Project, conducted by the Japan Council on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD-J) in collaboration with NGOs from six Asian countries (China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal and the Philippines).

ESD-J, in association with BINTARI Foundation, the local co-organizer sponsored by the Caterpillar Foundation, organized the Surabaya workshop. Representatives from 7 NGOs from 5 countries participated in the workshop that aimed at generating valuable ideas for ESD contribution to biodiversity conservation. These ideas are meant to be sent as a message for the Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD / COP 10) (Oct. 2010) in Nagoya , Japan to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration with the Asian NGO community working for ESD.

Ramesh Savalia, CEE's representative at the workshop, shared the Indian perspective and CEE's experience of ESD efforts for biodiversity conservation. At the workshop, there was a detailed discussion on ESD and biological diversity conservation, SD and biodiversity, messages for CBD / COP 10, ESD challenges in Asia , expected scope, functions, significance, ownership and governance of the network.

August Activities at CEE's Information Facilitation Centre ( IFC )

Rachana School Visit

The IFC conducted a two-hour session to orient students of Rachna School , Ahmedabad, toward their environment on 5 August 2010 . Over 90 grade VII students and their teachers participated in the nature trail, bird watching, environment-related activities like the Web of Life etc. On the nature trail the students were introduced to various facts of nature like how organisms adapt to their surroundings, how they are linked with and maintain balance in nature. The students were very fascinated with the biodiversity around them. Most of them were surprised to know that once a Bamboo tree flowers the particular bamboo plant dies. They were also introduced to concepts like ecosystems, rainwater harvesting etc.

Enthused by their Environment

Nature Buddies

After a successful one year programme with Eurokids pre-primary school (Vastrapur branch), CEE's IFC has signed a MoU with the school for conducting “ Nature Buddies” activities. This programme offers hands-on learning experiences in the outdoors to pre-primary children.

Natural Buddies

This year CEE will be conducting activities for junior and senior KG kids at Eurokids. Around 130 children will be part of this annual programme.

USIEF Exchange Program Brings US Teachers to CEE

A group of 20 teachers from the USA was in Ahmedabad as part of an exchange program to study and understand educational systems in India . United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF) in Mumbai hosts such programmes every year and this year they hosted this group that came to Ahmedabad between July 12-14, 2010 .

The group that visited historical and cultural sites, also visited CEE to learn about its activities and its approach towards spreading Environment Education. Madhavi Joshi and Mamata Pandya interacted with the group to share environmental education approaches and methodologies that CEE has followed over the years and the educational material developed for school teachers and students. The group engaged in discussions on various adaptation needs based on varied contexts, languages, other such factors in India , and shared their own experiences as teachers in the US . The programme was facilitated by CEE's Information and Facilitation Centre.

CEE Sets an Example for South Korea

Five South Korean junior college students visited Pune as part of the activities of RCE Tongyeong and RCE, Pune under the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Regional Centre for Expertise (RCE) forum. The students' visit was aimed at sharing issues and experiences related to education for sustainable development.

South Korean Visitors on Heritage Walk

Their experiences in Pune included a heritage walk in the old market area or ‘mandai' , facilitated by Dr. Shruti Tambe, Lecturer, Department of Sociology to explain issues related to heritage and social reform; visits to the Pune Film Archives and viewing of local films; interaction with Pune Tree Watch, a local citizens group, etc. The team also visited Indradhanushya, a citizens' environment centre set up by the Pune Municipal Corporation and developed by CEE. The team was impressed by the concept of a citizens' centre on environment education and they have expressed the desire to establish a similar centre in Tongyeong as part of the RCE activities.

The Indradhanushya Centre was inaugurated by the Minister of State, Environment and Forests, Government of India, Jairam Ramesh, to spread awareness about environmental and developmental issues in urban areas and to propel action to tackle these. Through posters, dioramas, touch screens, panels and science games the Centre creates an interactive education information environment for visitors.

Toward Carbon Neutralization in Yacharam Mandal

Center for Environment Education, Andhra Pradesh is conducting a baseline survey of Yacharam Mandal (Block), Ranga Reddy district in Andhra Pradesh with the support of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP). The purpose of the survey is to understand the existing energy pattern and enhance the green cover to make ‘Yacharam' mandal ‘carbon neutral'. This mandal comprises 20 gram panchayats that have a total of 10,000 households. The survey is being conducted with the help of volunteers - active SHG women, and staff of Village Organisations (VOs).

Women Train to Conduct Surveys

An initial orientation was conducted for the selected volunteers on 19 July at Yacharam Mandal Samakhya Office. Post survey, village-level action plans will be developed for carbon neutralization which will be implemented with the help of SHGs and VOs.

CEE collaborates with ‘My Earth, My Duty'

CEE Representatives Facilitating the Plantation Drive in Bhopal

CEE staff in Pune and Bhopal facilitated the local launches on 9 Aug and 11 Aug respectively of the campaign ‘My Earth My Duty', a social initiative which was launched nationally on 5 June 2010. It aims to encourage various members of society to take concrete action towards mitigating the effects of climate change. The campaign is led by ZEE News Ltd with Nehru Yuva Kendra and NSS as partners, along with several other agencies.

CEE's major involvement with this drive was to facilitate participants, especially school students from NCC, NSS, Bharat and Scout Guide and other local schools to undertake plantation activity and the oath to protect the green cover. CEE representatives had the opportunity to talk to the participants about the necessity of and the ways of undertaking climate mitigation, eco-restoration, increasing plantation cover and carbon sequestration efforts.