Environment Education is the most powerful tool when it comes to conservation. For a long time, we relied on the notion that conservation can happen in isolation but it turned out to be wrong. We need people and communities to turn things around. And so is a tool that will generate awareness on environmental issues.
Baba Dioum – Senegalese forestry engineer once said – “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught. The field of environment education is never easy specially, when it needs to function during pandemic and other disasters. Keeping this in view, Global Foundation and CHINAR organized this Web-Dialogue Session aimed at discussing the power of environment education and how can this be delivered during Covid like situations and other disasters. A group of learned and highly experienced speakers were invited on this occasion namely Dr Ram Boojh Chief Executive Officer of Delhi based Mobius Foundation, Ranjana Saikia, Mentor Emeritus, Centurion University Odisha, Dr Raju Kasambe, Asst Director, Education at Conservation Education Centre, BNHS Mumbai and Supriya Gulati, senior consultant – Social Responsibility and Partnership, EnvEco Logic. Dr Pranab J Patar and Dr Pradeep Mehta moderated the session, which was attended online by a large audience. Dr Ram Boojh, spoke about the transformation that is taking place in the environment education sector specially from being an environment centric education to sustainable development centric education and how this making an impact in the field of environment over the years. Dr Boojh emphasized on the need to look and work beyond the disciplinary limitations to turn the learning into action.
Ranjana Saikia underscored the fact that extraordinary situations demand extraordinary solutions and same goes with Covid like pandemic and other disasters as well. She mentioned, how this pandemic has forced over a million children out of schools in India alone despite the best efforts put in to reach and offer education to everyone. She ended her session with a message for the young and aspiring environment education professionals to look at conservation with a holistic approach. While Dr Raju Kasambe shared his reach experience of delivering online environment and conservation education to the masses during this period of lockdown. He mentioned, how Conservation Education Centre at BNHS Mumbai has quickly adapted to this changing demand of nature education. Although environment education is supposed to take place in outdoors, Dr Raju and his tame has made it possible and equally interesting to teach and learn about environment even in indoor conditions. Supriya in her speech highlighted how every individual responds and act towards various situations including rapidly changing environmental conditions. While sharing her experience with young individuals and kids, she spoke about their priorities, learning abilities/desires and how are they linked to conservation action. She also discussed about emotional stability and conservation education, the interlinkages and interdependences between the two.