Topic: Education and Empowerment
Venue: NABARD and CEE

  • India, with 2.4% of the world's total geographical area and 18% of the world's population, has only 4% of the world’s total fresh water resources. Major parts of India are facing acute water shortage on account of climate change, unsustainable use of water, deteriorating water quality and increasing water demand creating tremendous hardship to rural communities in affected areas across the country.In response to the situation, NABARD ( The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development)launched a major Outreach Campaign in partnership with CEE (The Centre for Environment Education) to empower rural communities in around 1,00,000 villages to take positive climate action through providing improved water literacy.
  • A side event to showcase the project and to discuss aspects of implementation and scaling up was held at the India Pavilion at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany today (on 17th November, 2017).
  • The first speaker, Dr Prithi Nambiar, Senior Programme Director, CEE,discussed the background and international policy context of ESD. She spoke of how CEE has been  instrumental not only in incorporating the paradigm of sustainable development in stakeholder education in creating and promoting policy recognition of the critical role that Education plays in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through contributing to the global discourse on the importance of Education through organizing a series of international conferences.
  • Mrs. Raji Gain, Chief General Manager, NABARD briefed the audience about the water conservation campaign launched in the most vulnerable/ water stressed areas of the country, particularly where the ground water is over exploited. The main objective of the campaign was to enlist community participation and voluntary actions on conservation of water and its efficient utilization in agriculture. Specially trained Master Trainers (200 MTs) and ‘Krishi Jal Doots’ (8000 KJDs) were deployed for undertaking village campaign in 250 districts across 21 states. A short video on water campaign was shown during the event.
  • Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, CEE, talked about the learning from the campaign and  emphasised the role the campaign played in climate change adaptation as well as mitigation. He said that CEE can provide the expertise to organize similar campaigns in other countries while scaling them up for broader action towards climate literacy.
  • Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, Focal Point, ACE, UNFCCC,highlighted the significance of Article 12 of the Paris Agreement in achieving climate action. She also discussed how such local actions can create a major impact at thenational level and also at the global level as an inspiration for others to follow.
  • Mr. Pradeep Kumar Jena, IAS, Principal Secretary, Water Resources, Govt. of Odisha, sharedthe experience of the ‘Pani Panchayat’and the institutional and legal frameworks that are now in place to effectively support rural communities in gaining equitable access to water through a participatory approach.
  • Prof. Alan Reid, Faculty of Education, Monash University, discussed the need to re-evaluate existing educational methodologies toreframe them towards climate action. He also applauded the water campaign for simultaneously addressing multiple Sustainable Development Goal areas rather than following the traditional silo approach.
  • Mr. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair on ESD, York University, emphasized the need to maintain the network of villagescreated through this campaign to disseminate informationand also enable a learning circle for a bi-directionalinformation flow.


The Indian pavilion at COP-23 will offer a unique opportunity to showcase India's positive actions on climate change to the global audience through events/ exhibits in the nature of panel discussions, presentations, conferences, interviews, press conference, short movies, documentaries, lectures, demonstrations, showcasing of exhibits etc.

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