India 's First Paryavaran (Environment) Ambassador

Dr Kalam in his address put forth a mission of ten billion trees for the world, one billion of which would be in India. As part of the programme, Dr Kalam gave away plants to all the schools present.

An 18 month campaign covering 200,000 schools across India culminated in the announcement of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam as India 's first Paryavaran Ambassador. A total of 70 000 schools actively participated in the voting process, and Dr. Abdul Kalam emerged as the popular choice of children.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, eminent scientist and former President of India, was felicitated by Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests as “Bharat Ka Paryavaran Ambassador” on 9 December at New Delhi. Mr Ramesh, while addressing the audience, said his faith in the future of India was reinforced, as by selecting Dr. Kalam, a signal was being sent to the future that Science and Technology can play a very important role in managing the natural environment and growth. He also said that with Dr Kalam as ambassador, environmental awareness would increase since his knowledge on forests and environment is immense.

Dr. Kalam interacted with the children from the 20 schools present and made them take a pledge to plant ten trees each and to ensure their growth.

Mr. Vijay Bhatnagar CEO, Arcelor Mittal said he was looking forward to working on this unique programme to create 20 million climate ambassadors as part of the second phase of the Climate Change and Sustainability Programme by CEE, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and ArcelorMittal, over the next three years. Shri RH Khwaja, Addiltional Secretary, MoEF was also present at the event. The event also included launch of the State of the World Report (Indian edition) by Mr. Jairam Ramesh.

The Kaun Banega Bharat ka Paryavaran Ambassador (Who Will Become India's Environment Ambassador) Campaign initiated by CEE for the MoEF was implemented in partnership with Arcelor Mittal. Launched on World Environment Day 2008 by Honorable President of India, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, this was part of a larger programme – the CO2; Pick Right Campaign which involved sensitizing school children on climate change and the right choices for sustainable development. The campaign included schools sending in their vote for a role model who could inspire people on the path to sustainability.

Gramdoot - A New Initiative of the TechMODE Project

Gramdoot has been recently initiated by Networking and Capacity Building (NCB) and Rural Programmes Group of CEE. This is a new initiative of the TechMODE (Technology Mediated Open and Distance Education) project. The objective of the initiative is to strengthen Open and DIstance Learning (mobile and other media based) in the Rajkot district of Gujarat to promote information empowerment and livelihood security of the rural poor and the poorest.

As a part of the Gramdoot initiative, a Preliminary Needs Survey was conducted to understand the issues in the context of information need in the agriculture and animal husbandry sector.

A meeting with Dr. Balasubramaniam, Livelihoods Specialist of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada , was held at CEE campus on 25 November, 2009. The meeting which included Kuntal De, a COL consultant and part of the Gramdoot team, discussed the various aspects of the Gramdoot initiative: the thinking and the linkages behind it, objectives, work done so far, challenges, future plan of action, etc. The discussions also focused on the preliminary needs assessment and the various challenges that emerged.

Sanjeevani: Transforming the Land

“If you have the will you can do anything”. This has been demonstrated by one of the schools working in the Sanjeevani project. The Post Basic School , Ambardi has transformed a nearby hilly, stony, barren wasteland into a wonderful Sanjeevani Aushadh Baug - Biodiversity Conservation Resource Area (BCRA).

The school first used machinery to level the barren land, which was then covered with fertile soil. The reinforced cement concrete planting beds were made by children themselves who, in the process, learned construction and designing aspects. The students also learnt about silvicultural aspects and medicinal values during the process of setting up the garden.

Local medicinal plants were collected from nearby farms, forest and grassland and planted by the children in the garden. Sanjeevani Children's Club has been formed and this has taken voluntary responsibilities of maintaining, watering, cleaning and developing the BCRA. Today the BCRA has more than 150 medicinal plants, including many locally rare plants.

The support and guidance of CEE field team motivated the school management, teachers and student to take the challenge to transform the barren land.

EE for Teacher Educators

CEE North joined hands with SID College of Education, Haryana for organizing a three-day workshop on ‘EE for Teacher Educators' from 7-9 December. The objective of the workshop was to orient and train the teacher pupils in effectively transacting EE in classroom.

The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. S. V. S. Chaudhary, Vice Chairman, National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) who emphasized on the crucial role of teachers in imparting EE and need of their training at pre and in service level to strengthen EE. The workshop was attended by 35 teacher pupils of various colleges and universities of Haryana.

The resource books on EE developed for the teacher educators by CEE with support from NCTE formed the basis of the CEE sessions. The teacher educators trained by CEE through the NCTE resource book dissemination workshop were part of the resource persons team.

CEE Youth at Copenhagen

Gopal Jain, Programme Coordinator, Youth Programmes, CEE participated in the Copenhagen Climate Exchange 2009, organised by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation from 3-6 December at Copenhagen, Denmark. He participated as a member of the Climate Sustainability Platform, representing the South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN).

Gopal made presentations at the Dialogue and Plenaries and also participated in the Exhibition at the Exchange. Focus of his presentations at the Exchange was on India and Sustainability, Pick Right Campaign in India and Youth as Role Models for Climate Sustainability.

Gopal participated at the Klimaforum' 09, the People Climate Summit and the COP 15, from 7 - 12 December 2009. He was one of the members for the panel discussion on “Sustainable Production and Consumption”, and provided inputs for the final version of the Klimaforum'09 Declaration, “System Change –Not Climate Change”.

Gopal was also invited to speak to the African Studies students of the Copenhagen University . He shared how youth in South Asia are taking a lead role on Climate Sustainabiltiy through SAYEN and national level climate networks.

Copenhagen Newsroom at CEE

In order to closely follow the developments and discussions at Conference of Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen , CEE set up Copenhagen Newsroom at its campus in Ahmedabad from the 7-18 December.

MSc. Climate Change students involving themselves in the Newsroom

The CEE Copenhagen Newsroom collated, discussed and assessed the events and outcomes of Copenhagen . The CEE team at Copenhagen (Gopal Jain and Rixa Schwartz) enriched the process by providing first hand information on all decisions and updates. Discussion with local experts from various institutions in the city provided the local flavour. A press note on the daily outcomes of the talks at Copenhagen was released every evening for the 12 days.

The students of the MSc in Climate Change of the Gujarat University actively participated in the process. The Msc. Course is being offered by Management Education Centre for Climate Change – a combined initiative of Gujarat University and CEE.The event attracted overwhelming response form the media. The daily press releases can be read at

CEE Publications Reach Far

Maharashtra State Council for Elementary Education, Government of Maharashtra has placed an order for four CEE publications in Marathi - [Dosti Karuya Pakshanshi (bird book), Nisarg shikshak (trans-adaptation of Green Teacher), Chala Pranisangrahalayat (trans-ad of Wild at the Zoo), Kase Karuya Paryavaran Hirawe (trans-ad of Green Action Guide)].

The books will be published by Young India Publications and will be distributed to over 13000 school libraries in the state. This will help to reach ideas of EE and ESD to a large number of students and teachers in the local language. 

CEE at NCC National Integration Camp

NGC Cadets play the Rope and Ladder game

CEE Madhya Pradesh was invited to conduct sessions at the National Integration Camp III of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) at Chitrakoot, Satna from 2-13 December. About 600 cadets, both boys and girls from all over India participated in the camp. Both the senior and junior cadets enjoyed the ‘learning by doing' sessions conducted by Dilip Chakravarti, CEE.

Small Grants Programme (SGP)

One of the felt needs emerging from a variety of projects carried out by SGP parners is for orientation towards establishing enterprise-based business models leading to sustainable livelihood options for the communities they are dealing with.

A three-day consultative workshop on Business Model Approach was held at IIFM Bhopal from 28 – 30 November, had participation from more than 40 SGP partners, SGP Regional Coordinators, resource persons and experts in the area, IIFM officials and students. It provided opportunity to meet on a single platform to discuss action steps towards establishing profitable enterprise based business models with inclusive socioeconomic and environmental concerns.

Similar workshops are planned to be held across different regions of the country so that to benefit all other SGP partners in this area.