By Pallavi Gupta:
With the increase in population and its demands, began the era man’s unending needs which knew no bounds. People began to overexploit nature’s resources thus, defiling the environment. The emergence of environment development bodies thus began which was soon felt to be the need of the hour at the global level. Many international and national bodies have been set up which not only work towards environmental development but also aim for environmental sustainability.
One such organization operating in India is C.P.R. Environment Education Centre (CPREEC). It is a national centre of excellence of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Government of India. CEE (Centre of Environmental Education) was established in 1984 and it strives to increase public awareness and understanding of the environment to promote the conservation and sustainable use of nature leading to a better environmental quality of life.
The CEE management committee is the highest decision making body after the governing council on all management matters. It has 300 plus members and representations from programmes, administrations and finance. Even though CEE is supported by Ministry of Environment and Forests, 85% of its funding comes from other sources.
CEE endeavours to enhance knowledge of key target groups (children, local communities etc.) about various aspects of environment. It delivers relevant and up-to-date knowledge about environment in the hands of teachers, NGO workers, community members and students. The basic mission of CEE is-
– To promote environmental awareness,
– To enhance environmental education among masses,
– To understand the major environmental issues faced by India and develop innovative solutions and
– To build synergies across government, NGOs and CEE for overall impact.
CEE addresses the need to for trained personnel in education-action-based programs directed at the environment. They experiment with different masons and workshops, and use latest technologies to support planning of youth based programs to build on a knowledge that people are already for. Its focus on capacity building is more than training. It involves working closely with institutions and conducting system evaluation. CEE works in the industrial sector too. It facilitates an understanding if minimizing waste as a way towards profit and growth; they speak to the industrial bottom line and build a bridge between industries and environmental organizations.
It believes people participation and environmental education go hand-in-hand. It values participation at each step along the way. They allow programs to grow organically in tune with the heartbeat of the community; their impact is felt at various levels from government to schools to villages. CEE is thus a handprint of positive action right across India and the globe.
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