More than 25 schools are being engaged in Mithapur, in the Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat, towards developing an environment education programme to serve the marine and coastal biodiversity conservation needs of the region.
Anchored to the idea of making sustainability a conscious part of the people’s lives and livelihoods, the Education for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Conservation initiative strives to makes Okhamandal region the heart of sustainable living. The initiatives undertaken by people to better their own environment, can only occur through a local understanding of environmental challenges. This requires context-specific environment education initiative focusing on sustainability components including economic, social and environmental.
The project is specifically designed for the needs of the Mithapur region and consists of developing a context-specific environment education program in schools, facilitated by local program officers trained in environment education, by BVIEER (Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research). The challenges that will be addressed include linking concepts such as energy conservation, biodiversity conservation, waste management, water conservation, and cleanliness.
The initiative is realized through various modules and formats (including app-based engagement). From action-oriented learning, workshops for teachers on the concepts of sustainable coastal development, to its integrated systems-learning workshops for school students and establishment of a ranking system for Green Schools, each component provides a local environment and social science basis for growth and change. Periodic field-visits are organized to the Mithapur Biodiversity Park, and mangrove forests around Dwarka taluka.
The total number of students engaged through the initiative has exceeded 1,500 students in 25 schools in the Dwarka taluka, Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat.