New Delhi: In a first, an Annual Meet of the State Nodal Agencies implementing the National Green Corps ‘Ecoclub’ programme of the Ministry of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), organized by the Ministry’s Environment Education Division, in collaboration with the GEER Foundation, Gujarat, was held from 20 to 21 December in Kevadia, Gujarat.
Senior officers from 22 States and UTs implementing the programme along with about 200 Ecoclub students from Gujarat participated. An exhibition also showcased the projects, resource material, handicrafts items etc. prepared by the Ecoclub students across the States & UTs.
Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) is a central sector scheme of the Ministry continuing since 1983-84, and aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation.
Under the scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) ‘Ecoclub’ programme was initiated in 2001-2002 with the objective to impart knowledge to school children through hands on experience, about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein.
The programme aims to inculcate proper attitude towards the environment and sensitize children on issues related to environment and development.
The meeting acknowledged the contributions made by the State & UT Governments in implementing the NGC ‘Ecoclub’ programme, and certificates of appreciation were given to agencies. Best Ecoclub Awards at national level were awarded to students of the Ecoclub from Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Telangana who secured first, second and third position respectively, and consolation prizes were awarded to Ecoclubs from Gujarat, Sikkim and Karnataka.
The publication developed by the Environment Education Division for the Ecoclub students were released, viz ‘Glimpses of Ecoclubs’, A handbook on international environment conventions and programmes, and a handbook on important days of environmental significance.
The scheme is continuing to build young cadres of students and trigger their sensitivity towards environment protection and conservation. It is envisaged that number of Ecoclubs shall be enhanced from about 1.5 lakh at present to 2 lakh in the year 2020-21.