Celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity

CEE Himalaya with support from Welthungerhilfe celebrated the day with events in the districts of Baramulla and Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. Over 260 students and teachers participated in drawing, speech and quiz competitions.

Students sketched diverse aspects of nature and endangered species of flora and fauna of Kashmir

Members of CEE, and invited resource persons, explained the importance and history of the Day, and discussed the theme of the day “ Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation”. The event highlighted the need for the conservation of local species like morchella (gucchi), olive, saffron and deodar; which are important resources of Kashmir and are threatened due to adverse human activities and impact of climate change. Local fauna like Snow leopard, Hangul, Markhor, Black-necked Crane, Black bear, and Sloth bear are endangered and are marked in Red Data Book. CEE team also motivated students for plantation, and conservation of sanctuaries, national parks, botanical gardens and forest areas.

CEE North organized a two-day community awareness programme reflecting the theme ‘Biodiversity is Life, Biodiversity is Our Life' in association with WWF Dudhwa and Forest Department. The programme was organized on 21 and 22 May 2010 at three locations in and around Dudhwa tiger reserve.

The puppet show at Balera village and subsequent discussions, received enthusiastic participation of community members from four villages

It aimed at motivating the tribal community to understand the importance of biodiversity, and to get involved in conservation activities. Two hundred and fifty community members from four to five different villages attended the programme.

CEE Madhya Pradesh organized nature trails on 22 May 2010 in the Swarn Jayanti Park in collaboration with Capital Project administration, for the regular Park visitors and general public in and around the Park.

The Ropes and Ladders game was an enjoyable way to learn about Park ethics

Children, visitors and the park staff participated in the programme. The programme started with natural trails explaining the plant , insect and bird diversity in the park by Dilip Chakravarty from CEE. Dr. Atul Shriwastava, Conservator of Forests, explained the role of the Park as an environmental educational site for the general public.

CEE Kannur Facilitates Tribal Development

CEE Kannur is working on the NABARD sponsored project “Preparation of a comprehensive plan for the development of re-settled tribal communities in Aralam Kannur district Kerala”. It includes primary surveys, participatory rural appraisal, collection of secondary data and preparation of report on livelihood opportunities in the field of animal husbandry.

CEE has completed first round of random sample survey with structured questionnaire and the inputs have been compiled.

More than 3000 landless tribal people were resettled at Aralam by providing 1 acre of land to each family. But they do not have basic facilities. CEE conducted first round of consultation with key stake-holders such as Tribal Resettlement Development Mission, and officials of departments like Rural Development, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Soil Conservation at the district-level. CEE facilitated exploratory field visits by a multi disciplinary team having expertise in the fields of soil and water conservation, habitat management, livelihood options, both in farm and non-farm sectors, infrastructure, social sector, as well as collateral free financial services, covering all the 6 blocks to get a general feel of the situation.

In this round primary data has been collected from 400 families who were present during the survey period. This data will be used by CEE and other departments to prepare appropriate developmental projects for the tribals.


Frans interacted with several programme groups at CEE and with participants of the summer programs for kids

Mr. Frans Lenglet, Director of Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD), Sweden was on a three-day visit to CEE during 27-29 May 2010. Frans was visiting CEE towards exploring possible areas of collaboration between CEE and SWEDESD in the near future. He also visited CEE's Rural Knowledge Centre at Halvad, Gujarat , where he interacted with the Farmers Field School and also, with the Self Help Groups. During this visit, CEE and SWEDESD mutually identified few areas of collaborative work towards ESD.

CEE WaRM Lends a Hand to NGOs

Waste and Resource Management (WaRM) group, Delhi completed a survey of six polyloom units set up by NGOs in Delhi . All these NGOs have full-fledged looms and warping equipments (given to them by Department of Environment, Government of NCT of Delhi inspired from CEE-ERU proposal) for making mats, bags and other products from plastic carry bags.

A polyloom unit can be used to make bags, pen-kits, mobile pouches, conference folders etc has been demonstrated at CEE Kodagu

The survey preliminary results indicated that the NGOs not yet able to proceed beyond the manufacture of mats. This is because of poor market returns, low product quality and lack of financial support Thus, there is a need to reinforce training for better quality of products, improvement in fabrication and design and better marketing strategy. CEE's survey report will help the NGOs to achieve their targets.


Mock Drills: Creating ‘Safe' Schools in Kashmir

Students and teachers from six schools in Baramulla , Jammu and Kashmir (J & K), participated in mock drills on fire-safety, emergency rescue and first-aid. Prone to earthquakes, landslides and other natural and man-made disasters, disaster preparedness is of paramount importance for the region. The mock drills organised by CEE Himalaya and conducted in collaboration with various government entities, including the J&K Departments of Health, Education, Fire and Emergency Services and Civil Defence was a first-of-its-kind in the area. Citizens living around the venue also collected in large numbers and observed the mock drills.

The school first-aid and rescue teams also benefited from the expert advice and useful tips.

The learning was largely hands-on, with students participating in demonstrations of rescue operations, evacuations, use of fire-extinguishers, carriage and transport of injured persons and other mock safety procedures. By making use of actual equipments used on-site, the training teams added a very real flavour to the entire exercise, further emphasizing the need for more such activities in the future. To this purpose, mock drills on road accidents, boat capsizing and drowning, stampede and traffic control, avalanche, landslides and floods are being planned with the help of experts of concerned government departments, local NGOs and NGOs.

CEE North Engages Slum Children

CEE North joined hands with Vigyan Foundation, an NGO working on non-formal school programmes in slum areas of Lucknow , to conduct special camps on environment education.

Fun-filled games helped children understand importance of the local biodiversity

CEE North conducted two camps in different slum areas of Lucknow . Eighty children participated in both the camps where a team from CEE conducted various educational and fun activities with the group, followed by a film screening and discussion on surrounding environment. Two more camps will be conducted in other slum areas of city in June. A group from these slums was also invited by CEE to be part of 5 June Paryavaran Mela .

The Green Teacher Alumni Meet

‘Green Teacher' is one-year distance-learning diploma in environmental education for in-service teachers. CEE has offered this course in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning , Canada since 2005. Over these years, CEE has maintained contact with the Programme Alumni and learnt that these teachers not only applied the innovative teaching-learning methodologies but also have a thirst to continue exploring newer ideas in order to make teaching-learning more interesting and interactive.

Identifying this need, the Green Teacher Secretariat, CEE, Ahmedabad organized a Green Teacher Alumni meet on 28 - 29 May 2010. The objective was to not only provide the Green Teachers with an opportunity to share their experiences and feedback, but also to update them on the latest thinking, ideas and programmes for implementing quality education in schools.

The meet was well blended with sessions (from both in-house and out-house resource persons) icebreakers and several activities to help meet the objectives of the alumni meet. The two-day meet was power packed with sessions like the Key highlights of the Right to Education Act, National Curriculum Framework: From Policy to Practice; Nai Taleem: The Foundation of Indian Educational System; and Pedagogical Innovations.

The GT Alumni Meet was attended by 14 teachers from different states of India

Besides the sessions, feedback on the Green Teacher Programme also formed a critical part of this meet. The meet ended with the valediction speech by Mr. Frans Lenglet, Director of Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development, Sweden.

Establishing Energy Clubs in ITIs

The Directorate of Employment and Training, Gandhinagar, Gujarat , has been implementing Environment Management Framework (EMF) in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) with support from the World Bank. For effective implementation of the EMF, CEE has undertaken an initiative to facilitate establishing Energy Clubs in ITIs. This initiative is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/ Energy) Small Grant Program.

A six-monthly action plan towards taking up energy conservation in each of the participating ITIs was the key output of the workshop

During 27 – 29 May 2010, a three-day Orientation Workshop was conducted for Energy Club Coordinators from selected ITIs . The Workshop focused on orienting coordinators on environmental concerns related to energy and energy use. Alternative and renewable energy forms, effective ways of energy conservation and the use of GIS as a monitoring and management tool were also discussed during the Workshop.

Take Care, Take Charge Campaign Culmination

Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State, Environment and Forests, felicitated the winners of the Campaign.

Six innovators presented their ideas for sustainable solutions to environmental problems to Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, on 29 May 2010. These six ideas were chosen from about 4500 ideas received from across the country as part of the "Take Care, Take Charge" campaign of the Times of India and Garnier, along with CEE as Knowledge Partner. The campaign was launched on 21 April 2010. Readers, especially the youth were invited to send ideas on green and sustainable solutions on six themes. Ten ideas per city were shortlisted by CEE through a screening process, and these were presented to expert panels at Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi , Hyderabad , Kolkata and Mumbai. The ideas covered a wide range from rooftop insulation, and bicycle rental plans, to toilet solutions for long-distance trains. The ideas were judged on their robustness, scalability, ease of implementation, and cost. Read about these 60 ideas at http://www.takecaretakecharge.in./

For each idea received, the Times of India bought 10 kgs of paper for recycling. The paper was then donated to NGOs engaged in recycling and reusing waste paper.

Mr. Jairam Ramesh appreciated the ideas and the concept behind the campaign, saying that this provides a chance for people to participate in and contribute to sustainable solutions to the environment. Mr. Ramesh was also the guest editor of the 5 June, World Environment Day, Times of India newspaper, in which he  mentioned the need for innovative financial mechanisms to strengthen ecological security. He expressed need to move to rules-based approaches and rely less on discretion-based decision-making. He emphasized on enhancing transparency and massive institutional strengthening of the entire environmental governance system. The newspaper circulated in the 6 cities on June 5 this year was printed entirely on recycled paper.