Special events

Global Community for Sustainability
On 25th Nov ‘Global Community for Sustainability Showcase Day’ was organised by CEE Australia.

The Global Community for Sustainability (GCS) project undertaken by CEE Australia, aims to instill sustainability values in school children so that they can build a sustainable future for themselves as well for the future. Thirteen schools in Australia and Ahmedabad partnered in this project to study the sustainability issues in their communities and exchanged information and possible solutions to them. The schools used internet to communicate and post their findings and processes on www.ceeaustralia.org/gcs.

For the showcase day, local 'teams' comprising of a teacher, students and representatives from the local council and a community organisation participated in the exchange. The exhibits and presentations highlighted various environmental issues like water conservation, sanitation and hygiene, traffic management, greening, etc.

The GCS Ambassadors from Australia (selected by a poll) two teachers and two students from Monaro High School visited India during the conference.

Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association: Campaign for Sustainability
Ahmedabad has one of the oldest and the only cooperative group of auto-rickshaw drivers. The Auto-rickshaw Drivers’ Association (ADA) has been pro-active in addressing issues of concern to the auto-rickshaw owners including their financial needs. In an inspiring endeavor for ICEE, the ADA, the Adani Energy Company and CEE joined hands to set up an awareness campaign for a clean and green Ahmedabad city.

Special stickers carrying sustainability slogans were developed by CEE in Gujarati. These stickers were provided to the auto-rickshaw drivers from the Adani CNG pumps across the city. The ADA on its part urged the Auto-rickshaw drivers for participating in the campaign. The Auto-rickshaw Drivers’ actively participated in the campaign by displaying the slogans on their auto-rickshaws. The campaign started on the November 19th, 2007 and lasted through the Conference.

Participants of the Conference took notice of the campaign and appreciated the use of CNG and the decentralized transportation in the city.

HIV AIDS: Building Environments for Responsible Living
The one and half hour special session on HIV AIDS organised on 27th November, looked at the links between EE and ESD. Whilst almost all development is based on dealing with the social interactions and environment that lead to social inequalities (as well as inequalities in health and inequalities in opportunity) there are few systematic formal or informal approaches to education about either of these two aspects. The discussion recommended:

  • Thinking of others and thus living responsibly is the only ‘cure’ for the virus, as it is for protecting our environment for future generations.
  • The learnings from HIV-AIDS awareness and control efforts over two decades should be integrated urgently into future ESD. It is about challenging the endemic through care and respect, and through supportive social environments.
  • Providing such supportive, enabling environments for people affected by HIV-AIDS requires alternative spaces for education that can reach society as a whole, moving away from the ‘target group’ approach.
  • Time-bound project approaches do not create and sustain the supportive social environments that can foster groups and encourage self-esteem and confidence. This requires a change in HIV-AIDS awareness and control practices.
  • HIV-AIDS, like challenge to the environment, is here to stay. Awareness and control efforts must therefore move out of the box, and be integrated with other health, social and political concerns.
  • Reaching youth becomes the priority for promoting such changes in attitude and action.

Young Voices for Sustainable Development
With an objective to include children’s perspective and vision for sustainable development in the recommendations coming out of the conference, National Bal Bhavan and CEE organised a special Children's Activity from 24th to 28th November, 2007.

  • Activities included a nature trail on the CEE campus, filmshows, a discussion on the role of zoos, etc.
  • The children also participated in the conference plenary session on "Teaching Sustainability and Living Sustainably". Children expressed their concern over high consumption cultures leading to resource depletion, waste generation, pollution and long term global impacts like Climate Change.
  • Development Alternatives, facilitated an ‘Earth Charter’ session.
  • There was also a session on effects of Climate Change, Global Warming and Green House Gas emissions and the technologies and habits that can be adopted to minimize them.
    The children took the opportunity to voice their concerns through presentations and display like the hand made greeting cards and a children’s declaration. The recommendations from this workshop were forwarded to the drafting committee so that children get their concerns addressed as part of the larger recommendations.

Climate Change E-learning for Children
A discussion entitled ‘Climate Change E-learning for Children’ was arranged on November 25, 2007. The event was supported by the UNEP and Samsung Engineering Pvt. Ltd, South Korea and attended by school teachers and ICEE invitees. The session was aimed to understand basics of climate change, ESD and e-learning and brainstorm about possible offline and online activities and content that could strengthen children’s interest in environmental issues.

Two students from Australia, on a visit under the ‘Global School for Sustainability’ project, shared their online activities, network, problems faced during networking and their strategies to overcome these. Misuse of internet, student’s interaction with urban local bodies to address local issues, monitoring, efforts to sustain students’ interest in these activities were discussed.

CEE’s Children Media Unit presented a case study of ‘KidsRGreen’, a website for children. This followed a presentation on climate change in India and the global scenario related to climate change. The teachers group presented feedback on www.eco-generation.org website, launched by the UNEP and Samsung to sensitize children on issues related to Climate Change. Mr. Mahesh Pradhan, Regional Environmental Affairs Officer, UNEP facilitated a group discussion to know the support schools need to conduct climate related educational activities.

Handprint launch
The Handprint concept was launched on 28 November. Handprint is a measure of ESD action - action that is directed to decrease the human footprint and make our world more sustainable. The Handprint tool is being developed by CEE to help measure action at: individual, community, national and global. It analyzes positive impact on the three aspects of sustainability: Environment, society and economy.

While the Footprint is the negative effect you leave on global the Handprint is your positive efforts towards sustainability.

The Handprint concept reflects the spirit of the 4th ICEE and the commitment to action towards sustainable development. The concept embraces the conference recommendations and will carry forward the spirit of hope, enthusiasm commitment to action.
Website: http://www.handsforchange.org;
E-mail: handprint@ceeindia.org

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