SAYEN's 7th Regional Meeting

South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN), supported by UNEP and in association with the National Federation of Youth Organization in Bangladesh (NFYOB), organised its 7th Regional Meeting from 10 January to 12 January, around the theme, "The Road to Rio 2012: Sustainable Lifestyles for a Green Economy". 13 participants from South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and 40 participants from Bangladesh attended the meet. Aimed at fostering cooperation, exchange and discussion among South Asian youth and strengthening the capacity of these young leaders on themes and issues related to Rio+20, the meeting also provided the young participants with the opportunity to fine-tune their recommendations to be forwarded to the Rio+20 Conference preparations.

Participants worked in groups to develop their recommendations for Rio+20.

The three day event was facilitated by the team comprising the UNEP TUNZA Global Youth Advisor, Ms. Shruti Neelkanth; SAYEN Secretariat, Ms. Madhavi Joshi of CEE; and Ms. Satwant Kaur from UNEP. Participants discussed and developed action plans for SAYEN activities in 2012 which they would promote in their own countries. Sessions on media and communication were conducted and led to discussions of ways of outreach and the use of media. The participants visited the Parliament House in Dhaka to meet the Honourable Speaker Mr. MD Abdul Hamid. For the field visit, they were at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).

On the last day, the UNEP TUNZA Regional, Sub-regional and National Youth Advisors were elected from among the participants. The Youth Advisors will be responsible for connecting young motivated people to the SAYEN Network and the UNEP TUNZA activities in the South Asia region. A cultural programme by local artists and some SAYEN members concluded the Regional Meet. The three days were an engaging experience for the participants and the team, and SAYEN greatly benefits from the amazing work these young people are involved in.

Interns at CEE Himalaya

On the last day, the UNEP TUNZA Regional, Sub-regional and National Youth Advisors were elected from among the participants. The Youth Advisors will be responsible for connecting young motivated people to the SAYEN Network and the UNEP TUNZA activities in the South Asia region. A cultural programme by local artists and some SAYEN members concluded the Regional Meet. The three days were an engaging experience for the participants and the team, and SAYEN greatly benefits from the amazing work these young people are involved in.

Interns with Mr. Sunderlal Bahuguna at HESCO.

Besides working with CEE Himalaya, the interns also worked with partners of CEE. They visited Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), Dehradun, founded by Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, a Padma Shree awardee, working towards sustainable development of the mountains through the application of need-based science and technological developments. The interns were privileged to meet Mr. Sunderlal Bahuguna, a noted environmentalist, leader of the Chipko movement and a follower of Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and Satyagraha . Today, at 85 years of age, he continues to associate himself with various efforts for environment conservation.

The mysterious world of bats

2011-2012 is the International Year of Bats.

Sundarvan, a nature discovery center, and a mini zoo in Ahmedabad, Gujarat has a colony of fruit bats which have been living there for more than five years. These nocturnal creatures,commonly known as flying foxes, are often misunderstood and have many myths attached to them.

To raise awareness about these often ignored small mammals, bat awareness programmes are organized at Sundarvan. An informative and interesting booklet on bats is also made available along with a film show and slide show. The programme starts at dusk so the visitors are able to observe the bats, as they leave the colony. Since it is difficult to observe the bats directly, an experiment had been carried out to entice the bats into the open so that they could be filmed. Ripe bananas were tied to poles to attract these fruit bats. It took more than a month for the bats to finally fly down to eat the bananas on offer. This was being constantly monitored by the team at Sundarvan.

Information about Sundarvan's Bat Programmes and Show is also up on the Bat Conservation International website www.batcon.org

Announcement

The Earth Care Awards – Calling applications from SAARC Region

The Earth Care Awards recognises excellence in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Awards highlight activities in different sectors in response to the call for local level environmental action.

With growing consciousness about issues associated with climate change, it is important to identify and foster locally evolved options to reduce emissions, approaches to protect land and water resources, and other innovations that reduce impact and emphasize appropriate environmental action.

The awards for this year reflect the need for urgent action in the SAARC region, considering the vulnerability and challenges it faces.

The awards for this year reflect the need for urgent action in the SAARC region, considering the vulnerability and challenges it faces.

The current edition of awards is open for countries from SAARC Region, i.e. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The award will focus on three important areas, signifying action by large industries, small scale industries, land use changes and water resources under community category and innovation for climate protection category. To download the application pack visit www.gogreenindia.co.in or contact praveen.prakash@ceeindia.org

The Padma Shri for Kartikeya Sarabhai, CEE Director

"It is not only the paradigm of development that needs to be changed to achieve sustainability, but the paradigm of education also has to change...".
- Kartikeya Sarabhai

Kartikeya Sarabhai, founder and Director of CEE, has been chosen for the Padma Shri in recognition of exceptional and distinguished service in the field of environmental education. The Padma Awards are the country's highest civilian awards. The Award will be conferred by the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil.

Publishing for environmental awareness.

CEE Jaipur, in collaboration with Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RPCB), published Paryavaran Sanrakshan Ki Vyavasthayein to create awareness about various issues related to pollution in secondary schools in Rajasthan, thereby reaching out to the community at large.

Systems for Environmental Conservation.

The 160 page publication is in three parts. Part – I provides general information about the state of the environment in Rajasthan and laws related to environmental conservation. Part – II provides information about solid waste and sewage management, mining, open spaces / zoological gardens in Bikaner, Jaipur, Udaipur, Thali village, Fatehpura – Shekhawati, and Sanganer. This section also has articles about the status of rag pickers, the link between urbanization and biodiversity, as well as an article on the relationship between media and environment. Part – III has eight articles dealing with management of solid waste and case studies related to these issues. Two competitions, intended to motivate schools to keep their school campuses clean and make the effort to report pollution around their schools and residences, have been announced.

RPCB has sanctioned distribution of the publication in nearly 8,500 National Green Corps (NGC) schools of Rajasthan. Apart from that they have also agreed to support the training of 100 NGC Master Trainers in three workshops to be held in Bikaner, Jaipur and Udaipur. RPCB has also put up the publication on its website:
Management of Environment Protection

Paryavaran Mitra Teacher Training Workshops

A teacher training workshop for seventeen Paryavaran Mitra teachers from different schools was held on 20 January, 2012 at Bishnah Zone of Jammu district, Jammu and Kashmir. The program was attended by officials from the state government and prominent NGOs. The workshop content revolved around the role of teachers in the protection of the environment. The participants were also updated about MoEF schemes, J&K Department of Education's promotion of environment education, and CEE's interventions.

Teacher training in Jammu and Kashmir

The speakers touched upon topics such as sustainable development, forest conservation, climate change, water, energy conservation and solid waste management techniques. Emphasis was laid on plantation of indigenous plant species of medicinal and cultural importance. Environmental education was upheld as a tool for behavioral change. The primary themes of Paryavaran Mitra were discussed extensively, and plans for future awareness and action projects were also shared.

The participants spoke about their experiences of Paryavaran Mitra and Eco-Club activities. They stressed upon the lack of adequate infrastructure and IT facilities in schools, leading to poor implementation and reporting of activities. However, they committed to working with children on all five themes of the Paryavaran Mitra program and expressed their interest in participating in more training programs.

Reinforcement Training for Tharu Artisans

The one month Reinforcement Training organized for Tharu artisan women's group concluded on 10 January 2012. This training was a part of CEE North's sustainable livelihood activities in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. This workshop followed the 15 day design workshop which began in the last week of November. The Tharu artisan group went through the Reinforcement Training to try out the designs learnt during the design workshop. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED), New Delhi, (Ministry of Tribal Affairs Govt. of India), has supported the training programme along with Dudhwa Park authorities and WWF Terai Arc office.

19 design prototypes of various sizes and uses were developed at the Workshop.

Mr. Anirban Halder, a handicraft designer from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), trained the group to help them develop products that are better oriented to market demands. The programme was attended by 15 Tharu women and a master trainer. During the reinforcement training, the group developed 3 samples of each design and also created 3 new designs.

The products developed during the training period will be tested by TRIFED in the market. An order will accordingly be placed for further supply of the products with the Tharu women artisans. The CEE team and the artisan group planned for continuing the promotion of their handicraft products and discussed including more products in the range on offer. It is planned that women from other Tharu villages will also be involved for such training and economic self-sustainability programmes.

www.ceeindia.org

CEE