Public Consultation with the Fisherfolks and Community on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) NotificationPartnership Across the Gulfs

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has commissioned CEE to facilitate public consultations on strengthening Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). Following, the consultations in Mumbai (12 August 2009), the second consultation was held in Chennai on 19 August 2009. Around 800 people, from coastal districts and towns of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry turned up for the meeting. Around 60 percent of the participants were women from the fisher and coastal community. The participants included the local political leaders, fisher federation leaders, CBOs, NGOs and policy advocacy networks. Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister, (MoEF) chaired the meeting.

The board game has both Arabic and English versions.

Before opening up the forum for discussions, the Union Minister made it very clear that the Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification, 2008 had lapsed and that his priority was to seek the viewpoints from the local communities, especially the women and fisher people to strengthen the CRZ.

The viewpoints of the participants covered various coastal issues pertaining to livelihood, ecology, pollution, habitat development, CRZ violations, conflict with industries, pressures due to coastal infrastructure development, ports, thermal power plants, sand mining and tourism.

As in the meeting in Mumbai, the Minister gave his remarks after hearing the viewpoints and grievances of the local community members. Some of the most important remarks and decisions arising from the Tamil Nadu and Mumbai consultations, including the press conferences were:

" A draft of Fishermen Rights Bill will be introduced in Parliament in December to protect the traditional rights of fishermen.
" The Ministry of Environment and Forests is going to setup a Centre for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management under Anna University, Chennai, for sustainable development of coastal areas.
" CRZ violations would be put up on the Ministry's website.
" A study on the cumulative effects of ports on the beach profile and coastal ecology is being carried out and report would be available by December.
" The setting up of a National Green Tribunal to address grievances due to environmental pollution and damages.
" Mapping of vulnerable coastal areas in the country.
" Doing away with the "in-principle" approval; in future MoEF will only give "final approval or non-approval" for environmental clearance of huge infrastructure projects.

The meeting in Chennai concluded with a reassurance from the Minister stating that when it came to managing coastal areas, the welfare of fishermen and their families would be given priority over the construction of luxury hotels and other commercial development activity.
Details are available on website.

Greening Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)

A 2 day training on Environment Management Framework (EMF) and Sustainable Development for a group of 52 Social Studies instructors from about 50 ITIs was conducted at CEE on 25-26 August 2009. The training aimed at helping participants understand EMF, issues of Sustainable Development, key environmental issues including climate change.

The training will refine skills of these Social Studies Instructors on building and incorporating environment perspectives into the existing Social Studies curriculum.

The programme also focused on building capacities to find opportunities for greening vocational education system. The training was imparted under three broad foci - understanding environment and sustainable development, opportunities and options for environment conservation and sustainable development and to help understand how environment perspective could be integrated into the existing vocational education system. Using the learnings of the above, participants came up with innovative ideas on the action plan which can take up in their own ITIs.

Climate Change on Radio

CEE with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is conducting a series of talks on Climate Change. This programme, being aired by Gyan Vani- IGNOU's educational radio channel, is designed to reach the youth and create awareness on Climate change and its impacts. The first talk in the series of 5 episodes introduced the concepts of the ecological foot print and the hand print. This was followed by a telephonic interview of Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, CEE who explained the “handprint” and talked about action towards sustainability. The second episode was on “Climate Change and Life Styles” which discussed how lifestyle changes can contribute to leading the world in its path towards sustainability and how the small changes we make in the way we live our lives can play a big role in sustainable development.

Garmshilpi: Enterprising Entrepreneur

Nilam, the Gramshilpi of Khoba village, seeks to address the local issues through a multi-pronged strategy.

Nilam Patel is a Gramshilpi of the first batch and has been working in Khoba village of Dharampur block in Valsad district, a remote, poorly developed tribal village in the Sahyaadri mountain range. The labourers of Khoba village often migrate to other places in search of employment. During this period their children have to leave the school and go with them. Nilam has registered a charitable trust, ‘Lokmangalam', under which he is carrying out various activities in the village.

Nilam is providing lodging and boarding facility to such children when the parents are away. He runs a small Gandhi Shala where children learn about Gandhian principles, Gandhi Katha songs etc. Nilam has also created a community of young boys and girls from different cities and villages who meet at regular intervals and discuss the creation of a thoughtful society of concerned citizens.

Strategies towards Disaster Resilience

After almost four years of recovery and rehabilitation, the situation in earthquake hit Jammu & Kashmir has improved considerably. Retrofitting and reconstruction is near completion, and the region is in a stage of transition from recovery to development.

A state-level seminar is being organised by CEE and Welthungerlife to bring the experts, educators, planners, disaster managers, civil society and other local stakeholders (including government departments and local and national NGOs and support agencies) on a platform to discuss suitable strategies for right kind of development that leads to risk reduction and sustainability.

This seminar, to be held from --- to --- ,will share experiences of various stakeholders during the relief and rehabilitation in earthquake affected areas of Kashmir and to develop a roadmap towards building resilience for natural disasters including the climate change impacts.

Prioritising Community Needs

Kartikeya V Sarabhai, Director CEE interacted with the Self Help Group members from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme partner Sanio Ka Sangathan in New Delhi. 

The village women explained how SGP 's participatory micro planning approach.

It was discussed that the micro planning approach needs to be taken up in the context as ‘local area based exercises' which clearly lead to developing ‘village work plans'. These plans would prioritise the community needs with special focus to poverty, gender and livelihoods. The communities shared their many significant achievements.

Capacity building for ESD

A lively and animated group of participants from the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, National agencies and Commissions on Environment, Gross National Happiness (GNH), and School Principals discussed the relevance of Education for Sustainable Development concepts in the context of Bhutan and worked on an action plan for implementation in their school system. The capacity building workshop was organized by the Ministry of Education, Bhutan in coordination with UNESCO New Delhi from 12-14 August. The salient points from the workshop include integration of ESD with the existing efforts at developing and implementing GNH indicators, focus on a whole school approach and working on building capacity of teachers in ESD. Ms. Madhavi Joshi was invited as Resource person by UNESCO to conduct the workshop at Paro in Bhutan.

The resource guide is divided in to 5 chapters which discuss the 13 sub-sectors where gender is critically linked with water. This is linked with 30 case studies from all over the world. The Hindi guide will soon join 7 other language editions and will be available online on the GWA website. Hard copy and soft copy of the guide will be available with CEE.

ACCU Photo Caravan coming to India

The Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Japan held an Asia-Pacific ESD Photo Message Contest "Letters to Tomorrow 2007" with a focus on the celebration of our living culture. The exhibition will display the prize-winning entries from the Asia-Pacific ESD Photo Message Contest "Letters to Tomorrow 2007". The contest was held by the ….. ACCU Japan with a focus on celebration of our living culture.

Ms. Madhavi Joshi from CEE attended a meeting to further discuss the project details with the ACCU team in Japan. This was alongside the Asia-Pacific Forum for ESD Educators, held in Tokyo from August 22-24, 2009, where Madhavi reported on the DESD activities in India.

The Photo Caravan is being organized simultaneously in India, Japan and Mongolia. CEE will take the exhibition to Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Pune in October and November. Several events including workshops are planned to be held alongside the exhibition.

Planning Meeting to integrate ESD into Navodaya Schools

Navodaya schools have been set up by Government of India with an aim to provide good quality modern education to the talented children predominently from the rural areas, without regard to their family's socio-economic condition.

The Indian National Commmission UNESCO and CEE organised a meeting of senior officers from the Navodaya School system on August 27, 2007, to work on a plan for integrating ESD in Navodaya Schools. Mr. Alok Verma, Joint Commissioner, Navodaya Schools, senior officers from the western regional office of the Navodaya, Mr. K.Bhatt, and Mr. S.S.Diwaker, and Principals and Teachers from Navodaya Schools of Gujarat attended the meeting.Discussion included a background understanding of ESD, possible actions to demonstrate ESD integration in the school system and planning for capacity building to teachers to spearhead a sustainable schools programme. CEE is expected to develop a long-term proposal on the lines of the discussion.

Ecofriendly Ganesh Chaturthi!

Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The most serious impact of the Ganesh festival on the natural environment is due to the immersion of icons made of Plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea.

As part of the Ganesh chaturthi celebrations CEE AP with the support of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) initiated Eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations campaign in Hyderabad . Awareness campaign was done in 20 schools an students were sensitised about the issue of water pollution due to the use of synthetically painted Plaster of Paris idols. Pamphlets were also distributed in the school with the information of Do's and Don't's during the Ganesh Chaturthy celebrations. Two stalls were also put up in NTR gardens and Hitech city to sell Clay Ganeshas with the local artisans. About 2000 clay idols were sold. 20 patris (plant leaves used for puja) were also collected and distributed with the idols free of cost. A poster on the medicinal uses of these plants was also developed.

Sustainable Schools Programme

CEE as part of its Sustainable Schools Programme (SSP) involves schools in a variety of hands on activities to create awareness and understanding on issues of sustainability. The programme consolidates CEE's 25 years of experience in school education. The programme offers tried and tested pedagogical approaches as well as use new developments like ICT for teaching and learning.

Building for the future

CEE as a part of the Sustainable School Programme (SSP) is facilitating and conducting year long environment education and education for sustainable development activities for the students of Rachana School, Shahibaug.

As part of the programme a Poster/collage making event was organized at the school premises for the students of class 8 on 19 August 2009. All the students participated enthusiastically and came up with beautiful and creative posters and collages. The themes chosen by the students ranged from current issues like drought, swine flu, floods to industrial development, and flora and fauna.

Budding Environmentalists!

The students from Euro Kids (an early childhood centre), Vastrapur visited the CEE campus and Sundarvan Nature Park as a part of the SSP programme.

During the year-long programme the children will continuously tend the pots and see their efforts bearing "fruits".

At CEE, the session exposed them to how life originates from a seed and why monsoon turns the surroundings green. The tiny tots were shown different seeds and germination. Through a nature trail they saw the germination of seeds of different plants and also tried their hand at sowing some of the commonly used seeds available in kitchen. The two-hour session at Sundarvan included a talk on the various species of birds and snakes there.

CEE in Core Group of UP's Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

In response to the eight missions formed under National Action Plan on Climate Change, st ate level nodal departments and nodal officers have been designated in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Directorate of Environment has been designated a nodal department for the implementation of the Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.

A core group has been created under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Environment. CEE is part of this 10 member core group in the State to advice upon the educational component of the mission. A core group meeting held on 28 Augu st 2009 to discuss the plan of action and finalize the st rategy for the mission in the State. Ms. Preeti R. Kanaujia, Programme Coordinator, CEE North participated in the meeting. CEE would be providing its support in development of State Education and Awareness Strategy on Climate Change.