RCE Srinagar Celebrates World Environment Day with Local Communities

CEE Himalaya with support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Give2Asia, and RCE Srinagar celebrated World Environment Day 2017 on 5th June across the Indian Himalayan Region.

Western Himalaya

For the first time CEE Himalaya organized the World Environment Day, 2017 celebration in a Masjid (Mosque). Those who attended the event and the local community welcomed the event, and thanked RCE Srinagar for conducting the programme in a Masjid in the town of Rajouri, Jammu & Kashmir, India.

Mr. Mohd Sajid the Masjid Imam (priest) said that Islam had a rich tradition of highlighting the importance of environmental protection and conservation. According to Islamic law, the basic elements of nature were land, water, fire, forest, and light belong to all living things, not just humans. The Holy Qur'an has several specific references to ecology and describes important principles for environmental conservation. During several presentations, different environmental issues were discussed such as scarcity of water in the hills, deforestation, soil erosion and biodiversity loss.

Central Himalaya

Different awareness and action programmes were organized at the Him Academy Public School (HAPS) in Himachal Pradesh. The celebrations began with a tree plantation drive by volunteers and leaves were collected to clean up the area. Students from different grades held a poem recitation competition and students from 3rd grade presented on the topic of ‘Paryavaran Aur Hum’ (The Environment and Us). Other competitions at the surrounding schools included a painting and a slogan writing contest.

At the village Kuroli in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, the local residents came together to discuss options on how they can use the natural resources available. "The change in rural landscapes is reflected in how we use our natural resources. We need to be smart on how to use these resources in a more scientific way,” said Jagroshan Singh.  During the presentation, different examples of water conservation of the natural water bodies and additional measures such as rainwater harvesting were explained. Other topics of discussion were plantations and avoidance of plastic bag use.

Eastern Himalaya

At the Deythang Village, West Sikkim district, university students, enrolled in an internship at CEE Himalaya, organized the WED celebration locally. A full week dedicated to environmental awareness began with a gathering of the villagers to pledge a reduction in their ecological footprints for example by planting trees such as the Khatus (Chesnut) tree. The ongoing programme included sessions on medicinal plants, wildlife, water scarcity and climate change. The villagers committed to follow a more sustainable life with their signatures during a formal ceremony.

More photos of the events have been uploaded on facebook.