Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Founder, Centre for Environment Education

Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Founder Director, Centre for Environment Education

 Kartikeya V. Sarabhai was born in November 27, 1947, son of the late Vikram Sarabhai, a renowned scientist and the father of India’s space programme. He completed his undergraduate study in Cambridge, UK (Natural Science) and proceeded to do postgraduate work in development communication at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kartikeya V. Sarabhai is the Founder Director of The Centre for Environment Education, headquartered in Ahmedabad, with 40 offices across India. Kartikeya Sarabhai has long been associated with IUCN, and was the chair of South and South East Asia IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Indian National Commission of IUCN.

A member of the UNESCO Reference Group for UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) as well as a member of the International Steering Group for the End of the Decade Conference 2014.Also, Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai is a member of the Earth Charter International Council and a member of the National Executive Committee for facilitating the implementation of the strategic objectives of the “UN Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB) 2011-2020” by the National Biodiversity Authority.

Kartikeya Sarabhai was a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at Rio in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesburg in 2002 and was the co-author of India’s report for UNCED. He is the editor of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, published by SAGE, and has written and spoken extensively on the environment; education and related subjects in national and international fora.

The Government of India awarded Mr. Sarabhai the Padma Shri in 2012, one of the country’s highest civilian awards in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished service in the field of Environmental Education. In 2005, The Indian Institute of Human Rights presented Mr. Sarabhai with the World Human Rights Promotion Award. He received the Tree of Learning Award from The World Conservation Union in 1998 in appreciation of his contributions to the field of environmental education and communication. He received the Tree of Learning Award (1998) from the IUCN in appreciation of his contributions to the field of environmental education and communication. The Indian Institute of Human Rights has presented him with the World Human Rights Promotion Award (2005).

Sarabhai has served on many committees set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India, primarily focusing on the greening of India’s formal education system

 Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai is one of the leading icons in implementing India’s Environmental awareness practices as well as its integration. In this interview he emphasizes on the importance of Environmental education in our day to day lives about the scope and potential benefits it can have on our daily lives. He gave a brief summary about the objective of the COP Summit 2012 and its recommendations in the long term. He states that there is a lack of awareness among people on how to go about with integrating environmental practices within their firms or even in their daily practices.

The CEE has been successful locally and ias networked on the global environmental education scenario. The CEE is also looking for a potential partnership with CBD in order to be more effective in India. The country’s youth can be introduced in the field of environmental awareness by developing an effective interface between governments and the youth. Since youth are the ones who are going to carry forward the legacy in environmental awareness and incorporate environmental earth sciences into their day to day life. In that perspective, he gave an overview on the scope of future environmental policies and examples on how to integrate environmental education in schools and at grassroots level.

Recently, Mr.Kartikeya Sarabhai initiated a network called Pariyavaran Mitra, which is an extensive project encompassing over 100,000 schools with each having their unique project dealing with the environment. He is optimistic about the difference education can make in the environmental scenario and recognizing the contemporary roadblocks present due to communication gap about the  goals to be achieved between the policymakers and the implementers.

Finally, much needs to be done in the aspect of raising people’s general awareness about Environmental education, for achieving this end; we can incorporate case studies and success stories education environmental education.

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