Saturday, October 30, 2010

...2 days left

EC+10: Higher Education Workshop
Only two days before the conference the whole youth-organisation team is busy.
Writing canvas, posters, planning activities,.... And of course not only in our youth department, all over the campus everybody is occupied getting ready and preparing everything that is not fixed yet.
For all the youth participants, the conference already starts tomorrow morning, 10pm, with the pre-conference workshop.
For everybody else (and of course for the not-too-busy-participants also) we have an announcement:
As you probably know by now, one of the workshops will deal with Higher Education.
And since you are exactly the ones directly concerned by the issues of Higher Education, I'm sure you will be interested in joining the discussion on the conference website under
http://earthcharterplus10.org/workshopthemes_higher_education.html
The Earth Charter already is an important tool in some 400 educational institutions all over the world and has been very usefull as valuable teaching intstrument. Is your university one of it?
Share YOUR experience with us: How did you learn about the Earth Charter, was it part of your curriculum? What do you think is the best way to introduce the Earth Charter as tool in the education system?
And what is your answer to the following questions?

Q1. - 'What do you think should be the approaches & strategies to introduce the principles of EC in Higher Education (HE) and the future priorities of HE vis-a-vis the earth charter principles?'

Q2. – ‘considering our interest to incorporate sustainability into HE, how can the Decade of ESD and the upcoming Rio+20 help on these?'

Q3. - 'Do you think that networks at Global, regional and sub-regional levels will be helpful in implementing the EC principles at HE level? If yes, how and which networks?'

Q4. - 'What role should the governments and Authorities Governing Higher Education Systems play to effectively translate the principles of EC into action?'

Thursday, October 28, 2010

...3 days left

Only three more days to go and the event, which everybody at CEE is working towards to, is finally going to start. The whole campus seems to buzz of activity; every day new people from all over the world arrive.
On the lawns, huge tents for the plenaries and also for the food court are being put up and every person passing you seems to be incredibly busy.
That is the situation right now; I guess that the excitement all around us will rise from day to day.
First pre-meetings already started today which made us kind of realize, that the conference really is as close as our countdown tells us. 
For all the people coming next week - and of course for everybody else interested also - we upload the current Programme Outline:

International Conference on Ethical Framework for a Sustainable World
Ahmedabad, India, 1-3 November 2010
Programme Outline
Time / Date
1st November 2010
2nd November 2010
3rd November 2010

08:00 – 09:00
Registration
Registration
09:00 am at Sabarmati Ashram

09:30 – 11:00
Plenary: 1
Inauguration
Plenary: 4
Education for Sustainable Development-1
Plenary: 6
Threads of Sustainability

10:45 – 11:00  Tea
Tea at Ashram

11:00 – 13:00
Plenary: 2
Earth Charter
Keynote: Mr. Steven Rockefeller
11:00 – 11: 30  Tea
Transfer to CEE

WS 2 (11:30 – 13:00)
Experiences and perspectives of how to include sustainability in HE

Moderator:  Jim Taylor,
Speakers: Ryokichi Hirono, Alicia Jimenez, Qing Tian, MNB Nair
WS 4 (12:00 – 13:30)
Final Discussion, recommendations, future priorities and forging partnerships for the next decade

Facilitated by Jim Taylor, Alicia Jimenez & Simanta Kalita

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch

Lunch

14:00 0 16:00
WS 1
The Earth Charter in Higher Education

Moderator: Alicia Jimenez
Speakers: Rick Clugston,  Jim Taylor, Priyankar Upadhyaya, Praveen Bist
WS 3
Indicators and assessment tools for sustainability

Moderator:  Jim Taylor
Speakers: Alicia Jimenez, Marie K Harder

Plenary: 7
Future Visioning

16:00 – 16:30
Tea (Book launches)
Plenary: 8
Conclusions

16:30 – 18:00
Plenary:3
Climate Change
Plenary:5
Education for Sustainable Development-1
Keynote: Mr. Jairam Ramesh, MoS, MoEF
High Tea

18:00 – 18:30
Earth Care Award Exhibition
Paryavaran Mitra Event


18:30 – 20:00
Dinner


20:00 – 21:00
Manuel Obregon – Simbiosiss Concert
Mallika Sarabhai – Darpana performance



...4 days left

EC+10: Interview No. 3

Today, we spoke to Annie Gregory and Dhrumil Patel from the Paryavaran Mitra programme about their role at the Earth Charter+10 Conference.


video

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

...5 days left

Global Challenges and Global Governance
Promoting economic growth with environmental and human health safeguards in place seems to be the path forward for most governments. Decades of environmental mismanagement have led to several negative consequences, making the global governance on ethical framework to be adopted for sustainable development inevitable.
There are major challenges that are being forced by economies around the world, in the path of sustainable development at no cost on environmental quality. The climate change is one of the most disquieting issues for the environmentalists and governments; one of the causes for this climatic change is the Emissions of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. Major initiatives like the Kyoto protocol in 1997, were taken for stabilization & reduction of greenhouse gas emission, but were in vain. The huge tasks that lie in store for the governments are determining how to clean up legacy problems, restore natural resources; and designing strategies to allow for future growth, while protecting the environment, maintaining biodiversity, thereby safeguarding human health, and preserving cultural/ social values. Another challenge for the countries of the globe is the pattern of consumption of energy sources. Consumption of all types of energy has increased, with development, & the highest being consumption of fossil fuels, with not much growth in creation of renewable energy.
Global Governance has thus become the key for acquiring sustainability and facing these challenges effectively. The inter-dependence of nations, in terms of resources and environment is strong and the synergy that can be reaped is critical, there is a requirement to promote coherent policies and implement on them. Among the different fields of global governance, environmental management is the most wanting in urgent answers to the crisis in the form of collective actions by the whole of the human community. Climate change, ocean and air pollution, recycling and reuse pattern, energy efficiency, nuclear risks and those related to genetic manipulation, the reduction and extinction of resources and biodiversity, and above all a development model that remains largely unquestioned globally are all among the various manifestations of this accelerated and probably irreversible impact of human activities on nature.


One of the main goals of the Earth Charter Initiative is to achieve recognition of the Earth Charter by the United Nations General Assembly and to demonstrate the relevance of the Earth Charter’s values and principles to global governance. This workshop on global challenges and global governance will provide an opportunity to discuss the global challenges & explore the ethical dimensions of these challenges and look at their global governance implications. Come and become the part of the workshops for further deliberations, and feel free to share your opinions here.


-Shraddha Ganwani

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

...6 days left

EC+10: Business, CSR and Green Economy Workshop
Over the past decade or so, the concept known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) has developed from a fringe interest associated with companies with particular links to the environment into a mainstream business activity adopted by major business houses around the world. Good CSR is about maximizing the company’s positive impact on the society, while maximizing returns. It is about using innovation to find creative and value-added solutions to societal and environmental challenges. With the growing importance of stakeholders, the concept of CSR has become inevitable for the success of a business unit.
With climate change being a major concern and the rise in carbon emissions, potential of environmental accidents, and huge consumption of both renewable and non-renewable resources, the role of industries and business to protect the environment is gaining more significance. How can a business unit help in environmental protection? The answer is tied up in the amount of energy it uses - and the contribution this energy use makes towards issues such as climate change. Today, it is extremely crucial for the business units to adopt usage of alternative energy and help in conservation of natural resources.
 With green economy, the core is to promote social economy and business to transform into high energy efficiency, low energy consumption and low carbon emission. Eminent business houses like Nestle, Corporate Express- Australia, and Hindustan Unilever have taken initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains. There are others like Google, Infosys, Kingston, Ford Motors, ATIS, etc who have taken several green initiatives for sustainability.
Initiatives taken for building green economy by corporate will not only help the society and development of the world, but also the corporate houses involved. It will strengthen interaction with consumers, and promote green business development with the help of innovations in utilization of energy; it will also attach importance to low-carbon technology creation, it will help build strong relations with all the stakeholders, and thereby help in creating the goodwill and brand value for the organization. 
But for this, there is a requirement that all the corporate houses around the world, collaborate and share knowledge on global trends, challenges and thereby reaching to conclusions about the best practices that can be adopted for development of green economy framework. Do you think that all the business houses will realize the importance of environmental and ethical development? Can there be an integration of such activities undertaken throughout the world? Is it possible to get all the corporate houses to think alike and work towards low carbon economy? If yes when will this happen?
-Shraddha Ganwani

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Role Of Youth In The Conference....

We have been incessantly talking about what youth can do for ethical and sustainable development, but what is exactly to be done and how, is still ambiguous. The initiative has been taken now with the help of this conference, one of the most crucial aspects of this conference is to engage youth, so that they get a platform to opine, to express their views, to put forward the ideas that they feel will help in this process of creating a sustainable world.
Why do we want youth participation? – As we have discussed earlier, the role of youth in development of the world and in saving the environment is extremely significant. We as youth are smart, savvy and we have our stern grounds, we conceive of our own power, we can initiate, influence, decide, and execute. We are the ones who will be responsible for creating a beautiful tomorrow, so why not become a part of this drive and work towards equitable distribution of resources among the countries of the world, and also for the generation that is going to come.
Looking at the role youth will have in the bigger spectrum of life and sustainability tomorrow, we have decided to involve the youth in this planning process that will take place in the conference, where deliberations and discussions will take place to decide on activities to be undertaken to ensure the realization of objectives. We have defined different roles for the youth in this conference, which will lead to their benefit and ours. We have youth as plenary speakers, who will represent the youth in the world, talking about the role of youth, in various aspects of environmental development from formal/non-formal education, to usage of ICT, to spiritual, ethical, religious connotations attached to it, biodiversity, and to how integrated development can take place in cities, communities, countries and in turn the world. We have youth as facilitators who are helping us achieving synergy; we have youth as a part of volunteers and interns who are helping us in organizing this workshop. The objective of bringing in youth from all areas of the education, training, and professions to organize and participate, is to have fresh ideas, and newer ways & methods that can be adopted for creating a sustainable world. 
We recognize the power of youth in today’s world, and their potential to create a difference. It’s time that the youth got the opportunity to voice their opinions firmly, in regards to political, social, economical, and environmental development. We need cooperation from your end, come become a part this conference, decide on what role do you want to play in the conference and offer a helping hand in creating a better tomorrow, for us and for the generations to come.

-          Shraddha Ganwani

...7 days left

EC+10: Religion & Spirituality Workshop

I’m a catholic Christian. I grew up in a small village in a rural area. My friends are catholic and protestant Christians. Some people in my village are Muslims. But I don’t know one of them.
I don’t know how their religion looks like. I don’t know what they are praying every day. I have never read their holy book. I don’t know nothing about Allah.
All I know is that women have to cover their heads and that they fast when it is Ramadan.
But I never understood why women have to cover their head. Why people fast for such a long time and only eat when it is dark.

Why don’t I know that?

Because I never had people telling me. I never had friends going to a mosque. I was never part in a community that really cared for the Islam. And I never really cared.

I can continue.

When I came to India I didn’t know anything about Hinduism. I didn’t know much about Muslims. I didn’t know much about any other religion.  
India = Hinduism. India = Muslims. India = all kind of religions.
That didn’t change the fact that I knew nothing about all this. And that I did not care. 

And I started asking myself:
Why don’t I care?
Why don’t we care?  
Why are we so focused on our own thing?
Why are we living in our small perfect world?
Why are we intolerant in ignorant?

One Example:
Why does the world ignore facts like the happening here in Gujarat in 2002? Why does no one spread it everywhere?
I was in Germany at that time, still very young.
I did not care about happenings like this.
No one cared around me. No one told me. No one spoke about it.
I heard about it when I decided to go to India.  
Then I started to care.
Muslims attack Hindus in a train. Hindus attack Muslims. Shops and stores, restaurants and homes were burned, people were killed, pursuit crucially.

But still the world did not care.

People have different opinions, people have different faiths. But it that a reason to judge over people- over children, women and men; young boys and girl; old grandma’s and grandpa’s?
Is that a reason to crucify people, to torture and to kill them? Do you feel that is right?

Where did the humanity go to?

Do we need to go abroad to start caring about our world?
I started to care in India.

Where will you start to care???

-Karin Schätzle-

...8 days left

New Media, ICT and its role in the environment

In today’s world, it is baseless to ask if you have a facebook/twitter account or not, or if you blog. Whether it is just to maintain liaisons in the external world, to have a wider scope of network, to create an one’s identity, or to express opinions, interests, feelings, emotions, sentiments, or share knowledge anyone and everyone is the part of the new social media fad. It has its own negative implications making communication transparent, but it helps tremendously making communication easy and rapid. The earth seems to be shrinking with globalization and the new trend of social media. But what can be its implications on the environment and sustainable development? It is not only crucial to our understandings about the environment and makes us environmentally conscious, but also gives the power to individuals/masses to select which environmental issues to present and decide who gets to speak about those issues. The new media has the challenge of presenting the science, politics, and everyday ramifications of environmental change. 

It is a known fact that common man is the most effective agent of change, and what better way to facilitate this change if not the media, media power presupposes the privileged access to information and resources and is categorized as persuasive but with the new media the individuals get the opportunity to voice their opinions, to get their message across and for others to counter/concede with their opinions, leading to deliberations, analysis and derivation of results, so it turns out to be more educative than persuasive. The pre-requisite of sustainable and ethical development is that there is effective usage of communication mediums in order to reach to planning and execution of activities that can lead to the growth and development comprising optimum utilization of natural resources without having any ill-effects on the environment. Once the civil society is familiar with the complex environmental and development related issues, it will gain the confidence to act appropriately leading towards sustainability. Communication technology tools help in environmental education by integration of the multidisciplinary process that focuses on critical analysis of environmental issues by gathering, organizing, and interpreting information to draw conclusions, make inferences and incorporate it in our work and activities.

So what is your take, how effectively do you think the new media and communication technology can be used for creating an ethical and sustainable world? It’s time to opine and stand for what you feel can make the difference.

P.s: You can also become a part of this discussion in the workshop on Information and communication technology and its role in environment, from 1st-3rd November, at CEE, Ahmedabad.

-Shraddha Ganwani-

Saturday, October 23, 2010

...9 days left

EC+10: Interview No. 2

Today, we spoke to Snigdha Kar from the Youth Environment Network (YEN) department of CEE.

video

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is the youth ready for education on sustainable development?

Another interesting post, today written by the media-communication student Shraddha Ganwani. Lucky for you, she joined our blogging-team and will stay at CEE until the conference.


Sustainable development- Most of you must have come across this phrase in Middle school, but none of us actually ponder over it or contribute in the process of attaining it. We hear about deliberations taking place in summits and meets, we know how important is the climate protocol, and what can be the consequences like, still we are not that affected because ultimately our life moves on.
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. In order to help achieving the goal of sustainable development, we have to learn our way out of current social and environmental problems and learn to live sustainably; therefore the concept of ESD came into existence. Education for sustainable development aims to help people to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions.
But how effective ESD will be, is completely dependent on our approach, perceptions, willingness to contribute towards the environment and conscionable community, and resolution to be the change that we want to see. We being the new age youth are smart, savvy and are ready to push our boundaries to attain our personal goals isn’t it our duty to offer a helping hand towards improvement of standard of living, and survival of the mankind. Today we the youth in the new era, can make the utilization of all renewable and non-renewable resources, we live in the world where with the help of development of technology communication has become rapid and human effort required to accomplish a task has reduced tremendously, but what is the use of this technology and training that we have imbibed if we can’t save the earth and its resources.
 Is it going to help, if we remain blinded towards the hurdles faced by the environmentalists just because it doesn’t affect our day-to-day routine? Is it going to help if we act as spectators when the trees are being cut, or if we cover our face with masks when come across pollution? Is it going to help to have deliberations on what should be the percentage of carbon emission by industries rather than executing it? Isn’t global warming a result of our skewed approach towards environment? We need a solution…and we can be the solution. It’s time that we identify that there is an alarming need for the youth to participate in such drives for protecting the environment and conserving natural resources? Is the youth ready to procure education on sustainable development and incorporate it in the activities undertaken for achieving the goal?

...10 days left

EC+10: Interview No. 1
To give you an impression, who the people preparing the conference are, we interviewed some young folks working for CEE.
Today, we spoke with Raji Vamadevan, who is part of the FUTURES GROUP. 
They are the conference secretaries and therefore deal with everything around. Furthermore, they build up the virtual conference, that even you guys, sitting at home, won't miss any event. 

video

Thursday, October 21, 2010

...11 days left

Today, we have a guest post for you, written by an Indian Youth. Enjoy it!

I am at age of late twenties, completed the academic goals and struggling to have a professional career of my choice. Why should I be bother about environment? There are so many things of my immediate concern. 

This is not the case with youth today. We have seen very active youth participation in various national and international forums like UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP), Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and Earth Charter etc. where the youth have not just registered their presence but were also intervene in the discussion and contributed to the final results. 

But why youth today is so much concern about protecting environment?

Remembering a day at Copenhagen during COP 15, all the members (including myself) of YOUNGO which is a youth body under UNFCCC have worn a T-shirt saying “How old you will be in year 2050”. They were asking the policy maker their age in the year 2050 for which they are taking a decision. Most of the policy decision makers today might not live by that period, it is therefore very important that youth today stand up and make their voice heard. Afterall as the young people, we are the future inhabitants of the earth and we face very real survival challenges.  

My neighbors in Bangladesh soon enough will be submerged underwater, with millions left without homes. It will be a fight for survival.
In India, the Sunderbans, coast of West Bengal, the people have been drinking saline water for over a year, their crops have been continually ruined, the fish have died due to contamination from saline water, and boils and sores all over their body.
That's not living, that's survival.
In Rajasthan, people don't have access to water.  The rich people have their water supplied from other regions, whilst the poorer deal with water contamination.
That's not living, that's survival.
The victims of Orissa cyclone in year 1999, at real magnitude are rarely seen. The people describe stories of walking in neck deep water, of rotting animal carcasses and human corpses flowing down the street and filling the air with a bloody stench. Over 10,000 people died and thousands left homeless. And again Cyclone Aila have hit in the year 2009. Agriculture is out of question in the cyclone hit area due to salinity, most of the people have migrated out and those who are living are depended on others.
That’s not living that's survival.
The frequency of such climate disaster would increase in coming years. Am I ready to face this? Is the government ready to manage all the climate refugees? Can we even predict the intensity of next climate disaster?
We as the YOUTH, have a crucial role to play, we must be aware of issues of immediate environment concern and must take necessary steps to do our bit. I think we need to ask ourselves what this loss of life truly means and why this is happening.

The above stated examples also indicate that people who are actually not responsible for the global warming induced climate change pays the price especially those of us living in poorer parts of the world. People who die in Orissa cyclone, who will be affected form sea level rise in Bangladesh, people who are form so called poor countries are not polluting the earth.
The Earth is already weakened and can do little to resist. The common goal of "survival" must be realized now.
It gives me pleasure to introduce an initiative which has principles to protect the mother earth, shares responsibilities with equity, care of human rights and believe in sustainable development. The Earth Charter is an international declaration of fundamental values and principles considered useful by its supporters for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. Created by a global consultation process, and endorsed by organizations representing millions of people, the Charter "seeks to inspire in all peoples a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family, the greater community of life, and future generations." 
The Earth Charter has four principles which guides the decision making process. They are;
·        Respect and Care for the Community of Life
·        Ecological Integrity
·        Social and Economic Justice
·        Democracy, Nonviolence and Peace

The Earth Charter is been endorsed by many youth organizations. The Earth Charter Initiative invites all young people to incorporate the Earth Charter as part of your activities, studies, discussion groups, workshops or work.  A part of the Earth Charter Initiative there is a bold, diverse and dynamic action-oriented youth network that promotes the principles of the Earth Charter among young people. 
So, the youth sitting in front of the computer, stand up and be the change agents. Afterall you must be the change you want to see in the world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

...12 days left

EC+10, Cultural Programme on the 2nd November: Mallika Sarabhai

Are you ready to become impressed? 
You better are, otherwise you have to stop reading right NOW.
Today, we will introduce you to an extraordinary woman – a woman, who also lived an extraordinary life. What other people wouldn’t be able to do in a whole lifetime, she achieved in 57 years: Born on 9th May 1953 to the classical danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai and renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, she peaked out of the crowd at an early age.

Mallika Sarabhai – Is there anyhing she cannot do?
She definitely can’t be reduced to her dancing, for which she is famous all across India and even over the border, won lots and lots of prizes.
She actually started her career as a film actress, but soon it was obvious, that her talent in traditional Indian dance, in the classical forms of Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi, was exceptional. 
Today, she is one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers. But that is not everything she does, no! 
She also is the writer for several newspaper columns dealing with critical issues like human rights, caste, corruption and many more. 
She is the founder of her own dance company Darpana (visit http://www.darpana.com/). 
She is an activist for education issues and women’s empowerment and founded different organisations. For over ten years, she develops her own “contemporary dance vocabulary” and presents her works all across the world.
As if all of this is not enough, she even has a PhD in organisational behaviour.

You want to see more of this amazing woman? Lucky you, she will perform on the 2nd day of the EC+10-conference!

...13 days left

video
 This is our second video; a quick introduction of the CEE (Centre for Environment Education) headquarter in Ahmedabad, the host organisation of the Earth Charter+10 Conference

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

...14 days left

EC+10: Non-Formal Education Workshop

2010. Imagine. Education for the poor. Education for the rich. Education for everybody in between.
One big classroom. Kids sit together on the floor, reading, writing. We start with the first row: one girl named Alena. Her parents are the owners of a big company, they have a lot of money.
Next to her sits David. His parents are working for a factory in the city. They have enough money to eat every day and to pay the rent, but not much more than that. The last girl in the row's name is Sonia. She lives on the streets of the city, after school she sells little braceletts to earn some extra money.
The three of them are best friends. 

This school provides education for everybody. No matter if they are rich or poor, or something in between. In this world, every child, mother, father, grandma and grandpa has the right for free education with no relation to their background.
Is our world like this? Has every child in every country the possibility to go to school? And every young person the opportunity to go to university? Every adult to continue his studies and to learn new things?
Is education free nowadays? Why have students to pay for their studies? Why are there private schools? Why is there a segregation between rich and poor?
These facts are not deniable.
Why is a world with free education for everybody not existing?
Due to that fact, on the EC+10 conference one workshop will be hold which deals with the Non-Formal Education in detail.
What can we change?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

...16 days left

Happenings at SAYEN:

Calling Earth: An IYCN and SAYEN initiative

Remember? Two days ago we had a nice announcement for the people in South India, but we don’t only think about the South. Today it’s the North-Indian's turn. Well, ok, North-West. I’m sorry for you guys in the East! You just have to start something by yourself and we will announce it.

Anyway. Your next Sunday, 24th of October, will look like this:
You take the bus or the train, step out of it in Ahmedabad and come to the CEE Campus - the Centre for Environment Education. After your arrival you enjoy the day focusing on everything which is in connection with our planet earth.

The Major Events are the different workshops, out of which you will have to choose one:
-Climate Leadership Training Programme
-"Walk From Plastics" Marathon
-Climate Conclave: Summit
-Clean Creation: Best out of waste
-Green Screen: Movies
-Climate ke liye bajao/ Reverberations: A Rock band competition

Parallel to these workshops, there are a lot of minor events happening, for example a debate competition, recycling activities, poster making competition, designing a cloth bag or visiting the Prakriti-Bus.
The main objective of this day is to create and spread your awareness in environment - and to encourage you to work and engage in environmental issues.
Come over and enjoy the day with us! You will have a lot of fun.

For further information just join the Facebook page:  

Calling Earth: An IYCN and SAYEN initiative