Youth Holds the Future


We Hold Our Future provides new light for the youth to be a part of the Sustainable Development activities in South Asia.


The Sub-regional Sustainable Development Strategy (SSDS), South Asia Youth publication We Hold Our Future and the film was launched on 5 March 2009 at the 9th Annual Collaborative Action Network (CAN) meeting at AIT, Bangkok.

Written by youth themselves, eight goals and 23 targets for Sustainable Development (SD) in South Asia have been identified in the publication to address the transboundary environmental issues. Emphasizing the need to develop strong cultural ties among all nations in the South Asian sub-region, the publication shares some of the best practices from the sub-region and mentions some key actions/ project ideas that youth could undertake/ proposes to be undertaken for SD in South Asia.

The publication has been developed through a participatory process facilitated by the SAYEN secretariat located at CEE Ahmedabad. It has been supported by UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Gopal Jain, Programme Coordinator, CEE, Youth Environment Network was at Bangkok to participate in the meeting as one of the CAN members.

Critically Endangered, the Forest Owlet

The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is one of the Critically Endangered birds of India. The Forest Owlet is distributed in Satpura Mountains of Central India. Mr. Dharmaraj Patil, Programme Officer, CEE, Pune, was part of a recent field survey to determine, the current range and status of the Forest Owlet, understand better its habitat requirements, assess threats, and formulate strategies for its conservation. Two methods were used for locating the species, call playback and intensive visual scanning.

This survey was built upon previous surveys by Dr. Asad Rahmani, Director, Bombay Natural History Society, Dr. Girish Jathar (now with CEE, Futures Group) and others.

The survey report by Mr. Patil, Ms. Prachi Mehta and Mr. Jayant Kulkarni, describing the survey, appeared in the latest issue of the Oriental Bird Club Bulletin.

The Earth Charter and Higher Education

Professor Steven C. Rockefeller, Co-chair, Earth Charter International Council and Dr. Kiran Chhokar, Programme Director, CEE, Higher Education

An Earth Charter Scholars� Consultation was held on Sanibel Island, Florida, USA, from 19-24 February 2009. Its purpose was to focus on understanding and strengthening the Earth Charter�s contribution to education for sustainable living in higher education. A dozen scholars from different parts of the world - Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, India, Mexico and USA - participated in the consultation. Rick Clugston, who is spearheading the setting up of CEE USA, had organized the consultation in collaboration with the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE) of the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). 

The Earth Charter Scholars� Consultation was the first gathering to review a wide variety Earth Charter based educational resources that have been developed over the 20 years that individuals and organizations have been drafting the Earth Charter and translating it into action. Participants evaluated educational resources that reference the Earth Charter, reviewed the best essays on the Earth Charter to craft a developing selected bibliography, drafted a �Guide to Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter,� and identified further resources to be developed, such as a special issue of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development  on the Earth Charter to coincide with Earth Charter +10 and an edited book that showcases the best essays written on the Earth Charter.

The consultation coincided with the formal signing of FGCU as an affiliate of Earth Charter International. Six members of the consultation group, including Dr. Kiran Chhokar, Programme Director, CEE, Higher Education, presented a panel and led a series of workshops for FGCU students, faculty and staff as part of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education�s Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Series.

Community-based ESD shared at Japan

The Ministry of Environment, Japan and Japan Council on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD-J) organised an NGO Networking Meeting at Tokyo, Japan on 6 March 2009, for implementation of ESD in Asia through the international cooperation by Japanese NGOs. The aim of the meeting was to share the information about the status quo and issues of the international cooperation in ESD and to discuss efforts of local NGOs and seek the effective ESD international cooperation from NGOs. 19 NGOs participated in the meeting.

Mr. Ramesh Savalia, Programme Coordinator, CEE, Rural Programmes Group, presented a paper on �Community based ESD in CEE: Initiatives and Perspectives�. CEE�s experience of potential, limitations and barrier in ESD efforts and possible areas for Japanese NGOs in ESD international cooperation was shared. The meeting outcomes will be used for developing future policy of ESD international cooperation in Asia, in particular for partnership and supporting NGOs of Japan.

Safe Holi Campaigns

  Flame of the forest (Butea monosperma)

The colourful Indian festival of Holi celebrates the return of spring. Spring is a time when several trees are in bloom � and in earlier times, the colours used to play Holi came from flowering trees but in recent times these have been replaced with toxic chemical colours.

CEE, Information and Facilitation Centre (IFC), Ahmedabad promoted the use of natural, herbal and non toxic colours to make this Holi a safe and colourful one. 

Pick Right Campaign in 15 languages

The Pack includes an information and activity booklet, a set of stickers, posters and a postcard for sending in the "vote".

The Pick Right campaign is a country-wide initiative to develop an educational programme that focuses on the complex and multi-dimensional subject of climate change in simple and easy-to understand manner. It is linked to the Kaun Banega Paryavaran Ambassador (Who will become India�s Environment Ambassador) campaign which involves voting for India�s Environment Ambassador.

A Pick Right Educational Package is being disseminated as part of the Campaign. The Pick Right pack has been translated in 14 Indian languages for distribution across the country. It is expected to reach out to 200,000 schools. About 100,000 campaign packs have already been distributed. Packages are being distributed through meetings, workshops, events and mailed directly to schools. Events are being organized through CEE�s Regional Offices and SGP NGO network partners at different locations. It is expected to complete the dispatch of the package by 31 March 2009. Votes from schools will be accepted up to 25 April 2009 following which results will be collated. About 40000 votes have already come in. These are through postcards and through web based polling.

The Pick Right campaign was initiated by CEE for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and was launched on 5 June 2008 by the Honourable President of India. ArcelorMittal is partnering the initiative and has helped extend the reach of the campaign. It is estimated that about 20,000,000 school children across India will take part in the campaign.

As the part of the Campaign, CEE IFC set up counters at different places and sold colours extracted from flowers and leaves like Flame of the forest (Butea monosperma) flowers, Henna (Lawsonia inermis) leaves etc. which are not harmful for skin and safe for all. Information about harmful dry colour powders, oily pastes and water colours which are available in the market containing toxic substances were highlighted. Some tips on making natural colours at home were also given. Around 38 kg of natural colours and around 10 kg of Flame of the forest flowers were sold from various CEE IFC outlets.