Bt Brinjal Consultations Across the Country

The Minister, with the help of CEE Director Kartikeya Sarabhai, structured the consultation to hear voices from various interest groups.

CEE facilitated five more consultations on Bt Brinjal at different locations in the country after the first one held at Kolkata and reported in the last issue of ceenario . These were held at Bhubaneswar , Ahmedabad, Nagpur , Chandigarh and Hyderabad , on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. The consultations were held to gather views of different stakeholder groups regarding the commercial introduction of Bt Brinjal (transgenic brinjal by inserting cry1Ac gene from Bacillus thuringiensis ).

The Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, chaired all the consultations and listened to opinions and concerns of various stakeholder groups, namely farmers, scientists, agriculture experts, farmer organizations, consumer groups, NGOs, government officials, lawyers, doctors, nutrition experts, ayurveda experts, and concerned citizens. More than 5000 people participated in the consultations from across different states.

The Minister also took time to talk to the groups gathered outside the various consultation venues protesting against the commercialization of Bt Brinjal.

At each location, between 70 and 80 people got the opportunity to voice their opinion. Others submitted their opinions and suggestions in writing.

The Minister has stated that he will take an official stand on the issue after listening to the views of stakeholders at all the consultations. The last in the series of consultations will be held on 6 February at Bangalore . CEE will submit complete videos of the proceedings as well as a written report on the consultations to the MoEF.
More at:

Capacity Building Kashmir Team

Members of the CEE Baramullah team visited Gujarat in January for an exposure-cum-capacity-buidling trip facilitated by the Rural Programmes Group. They are part of the team involved in the post-earthquate Community-based Disaster Management Initiative in the affected areas of Kashmir .

The teams visited several organizations and initiatives: to better understand the concept and implementation of ‘quality education'; they visited a school in Rajpur village and a Gram Shilpi field area. They also went to CEE's Halvad field office where they were exposed to other CEE experiences with post-disaster rehabilitation and sustainable livelihoods work. In Kachchh their visit to Kachchh Nav Nirman Abhiyan helped in generating an understanding of the alternatives in disaster risk reduction (DRR).

The team from Baramullah also attended the CEE Annual Meet where they presented their current work and future plans to the Minister of Environment and Forests, whose visit to Ahmedabad for the Bt Brinjal consultation coincided with CEE's annual event. They concluded their exposure visit to Gujarat with several new perspectives on the need for long-term strategized intervention in Kashmir with regard to DRR.

Sahaj Shishu Milap: Exposure Trip for Educators

A group of 21 youth (boys and girls) from SAHAJ Shishu Milap visited CEE as part of their study tour. Shishu Milap works with underprivileged communities living in the slums of Vadodara. They work with 400 children (6 to 12-years-old) and 2000 adolescents (13 to19-years-old) on gender, sexuality and health rights.

The trip to CEE enabled the peer educators of the group to learn innovative and effective techniques to work with their groups. The interactive session, facilitated by CEE's Information Centre and conducted by Ms. Aparna Susarla of Youth Programs, oriented them to CEE's youth programs and to the various approaches to issues of youth and sustainable development.

CEE Ahmedabad Campus awarded 4 BEE Star label

Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India, Ministry of Power has awarded 4 (****) BEE Star Label for CEE Office Building located at Ahmedabad.

The BEE Star labelling is based on the actual performance of a building in terms of its specific energy usage in kwh/sqm/year. The programme rates office buildings on a 1-5 Star scale, with a 5 Star labeled building being the most efficient. The label would be valid for a period of 5 years.

Facilitating ESD in schools through the use of ICT and GIS technologies

CEE successfully completed the program called ‘CEE ka Biscope‘ at Rachana School in Ahmedabad. The program was conducted on 28 January with students of grades 7 and 8.

CEE ka Biscope is an educational module meant for students in the age group 10 to 16. Practice-based learning for interpreting the local social and natural environment is integral to the philosophy of this module

At Rachana school, students used maps, satellite imageries and several computer-enabled data interpretation applications. The module appropriately combine this interaction with several other teaching techniques including field trips, classroom sessions, games and activities.

To showcase their work during the last six months, an exhibition was organized by grade 8 students of Rachana school, Ahmedabad on the theme of ‘sustainable agriculture'. The exhibition was structured in three parts, focusing on the content, the activities conducted in the class and the field trip to Rajpur village. The information was presented through GIS -enabled portals; GIS -enabled maps, slide shows, etc. Students also made skilful use of models and charts.

For Grade 7, CEE ka Biscope sessions supported the science and social science teachers in reaching the curricular goals of their subject teaching with the help of the latest ICT and GIS tools. The concepts and topics included geological phenomena, weather processes, city planning and carbon footprint.

CEE ka Biscope sessions were conducted by team members of CEE's GIS Cell and the Networking and Capacity Building Group. This program was part of a larger school initiative of CEE called the Sustainable Schools Program.

Children Paint and Innovate Ideas on Waste Management

CEE East organized a school outreach program for children of classes 6 to 10 in association with a local NGO, Abhinaya Jagruti Institute of Theatre (A JIT ). Under the broad arena of “Save Earth”, the children participated in drawing and innovative ideas competitions on waste management. Almost a hundred children from various schools in the city participated in the two competitions and showcased their ideas, thoughts and innovativeness on waste management.

This program was hosted by CEE East WaRM group for the Knowledge and Information Centre project funded by OREDA on 17 January 2010 at Jayadev Bhavan, Bhubaneswar.