Yahi hai ebadat, yahi din-o-eman,

Ke kam aaye duniya mei insaan ke insan. (Hali)


Insan ko insan se kina nahi accha,Jis sine mei ho kina, wo sina nahi accha. (Nashikh)


 Naya safar hai,nai manjhileny bulati hai,

Musafiro,ravish-e-karwan badal dalo. (Unknown)


India has long history as a cradle of civilization. The journey from early civilization to present day have came up with various things. One such vital boon is our indigenous knowledge. The local practices which are being practiced by different communities in nooks and corners of our country is having immense importance, not only for the local people, but also for the local economy,environment,culture,and to our knowledge system.

With the emerging Intellectual Property Right debate and the various contentious issues associated with it, the Indigenous Knowledge became a vital issue to be dealt with in the light of present developments. But here I am not going to deal with these issues, instead of this I am taking this issue one step ahead. After accepting the potentialities of indigenous knowledge many Government Bodies and various institutions have started working on the validation of this knowledge system. Which is indeed a welcome step. Few day’s back I was going through a report prepared by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on the validation of Indigenous Technical Knowledge. That was really a serious effort to establish the validity of indigenous technical knowledge. Different methodologies have been employed by them, from PRA to scientific experiments to check the validity of the indigenous knowledge. And on case by case basis, they have assured efficiency and validity of the available indigenous knowledge.

As Indigenous Technical  Knowledge titled : Banana  as an indicator plant to  irrigate.

As described in the report, some villages of Ganjam district of Orissa practice this technique, as mentioned about the technique, “In the sugarcane plot one or two plants of banana are planted. As the banana is ssensitive to moisture stress, it shows symptoms of water deficiency earlier than sugarcane. Farmers apply irrigation when the water-stress deficiency in banana is noticed. By this practice farmers save fifteen to twenty percent water and are able to provide irrigation to sugarcane crop in time, resulting in ten to fifteen per cent higher yield of sugarcane as compared to normal practice of irrigation indiscriminately.”

So, the argument which I want to forward is that, even after establishment of such fact, why the government bodies are not disseminating these valuable information’s to the masses. There is a common myth that, our indigenous knowledge is inferior to scientific knowledge, which is not always the case. At the same time on many occasions and in many locality these indigenous technical knowledge is far better suited and efficient then the scientific ones, and also perform better on the scale of sustainability of the technology. These information’s should be spread up-to the grass root level, the practitioners should be motivated and promoted for these practices. Also, other areas where this kind of technology could yield better results should be targeted and special drives should be taken up to popularise these technologies. Then only this kind of government efforts would  yield result, or if  it is only to be kept in libraries then the whole objective of this kind of research would be defeated.

Green Advocates….

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

What kind of world you want to live in?Demand that your teachers teach you what you need to know to build it. Peter Kropotkin

We are living in a false economy where the price of goods and services does not include the cost of waste and pollution. Lynn Landes

When we heal the earth,we heal ourselves. David Orr

If there is magic on this planet,it is in water. Loren Eisley

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself. Mollie Beatty

An article by Bryan Walsh in Times has thrown light on the emerging issues in  U.S college campuses and how they had changed. On one time, issues like civil rights,Vietnam war and apartheid were the major attraction of the students conscience. Now the climate change and global warming is gaining popularity and acceptability in campuses. On of the early advocate of climate change problem, Professor Goodstein had played vital role in promoting this issue in campuses, even before the Al Gore work. He states the grim position of environmental awareness in America by saying that, “They think global warming is scary, but they don’t realize how short a window of time we have.”

The political and educational initiatives had helped in a great way for making the students aware about the issue. The aim of these activities is to create a strong foot soldiers in the form of students, who have to live with the consequences of climate change. As always the responsibility have been handed over to the coming generation for tackling the issue. So the objective of emerging political activities is to create a strong foot soldiers team, they will work in the direction of resolving the issue.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, announces a five-day refresher workshop on how to use the environment to eradicate poverty in rural India.

For more than two decades, CSE’s research and advocacy experiences show that India’s poverty is ecological in nature. We have to regenerate our ecology to eradicate our poverty. Many villages have done this. CSE has been studying their experiences.

The refresher workshop seeks to learn from these village experiences and put in place a framework for sustainable villages. This highly interactive course designed to clarify the linkages between environment and poverty and also demonstrate its feasibility through a 2-day field trip to the village of Bunga in Haryana. This village has been successfully able to draw lessons from Sukhomajri, a neighbouring village that pioneered in watershed management and created sustainable livelihoods. In addition to experienced CSE staff, the course faculty includes eminent development experts.


  • Understanding India’s biomass economy
  • Eco-systems, land use and livelihoods: Linkages
  • Rainfed areas in crisis: Food security
  • Spectre of jobless growth: Chronic, concentrated poverty
  • Key indicators: Environment and poverty linkages
  • Poverty eradication programmes: A critique
  • Ecological opportunities, economic value
  • Decentralised governance: Ecology, Panchayati Raj
  • Ecological Act: The promise of NREGA, experiences
  • How to evaluate development effectiveness of NREGA
  • Case studies: Community-led village eco-restoration
  • Workshops: How to harvest rainwater? Prepare a detailed roadmap on how to create sustainable livelihoods using local ecology
  • Field trip: “Bunga, Haryana” A 2-day visit to Bunga village in Haryana, exploring ways to sustainable livelihood.

  • The highly interactive workshop has four components: classroom sessions by CSE resource persons, invited lectures by eminent development experts, hands-on activities, and a 2-day field trip to Bunga, Haryana.
  • Each day of the workshop has a specific theme, related guest lectures and homework for participants


This course is aimed at development practitioners, NGOs, grassroots activists, rural development agencies/institutions, students/academics, among others.

To Apply online

A certificate of participation will be awarded to all participants

Last date for receiving applications is February 4, 2008


Anil Agarwal Green College
38, Tughlakabad Institutional Area (Behind CSE building)
New Delhi – 110062


·  The course fees (payable in advance) of Rs. 8000 (Rs. 5000 only for Indian NGOs, academics and international students, Rs 1500 for Indian students,) includes instructional course fees, training manual, lunch and refreshments. All costs of the 2-day field trip are also included. The fee does not include travel to and from Delhi, local travel, accommodation or dinner..

·  Please send the fee by demand draft or cheque, in favour of ‘Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi’.

·  We will be unable to refund the fee unless the notice of withdrawal is received by us 15 days prior to the start of the course.

·  CSE can help arrange accommodation for participants (at cost)


Neha Sakhuja
Research Associate, NRML Unit
Centre for Science and Environment
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi-110062
Phone: 91-11-29955124/6110/6394/6399 (Ext: 225)
Fax: 91-11-29955879
E-mail: neha@cseindia.org


Aditya Batra at aditya@cseindia.org

Nominations are officially open for the 2008 UNEP Sasakawa Prize, the United Nations Environment Programme announced today.

The US$200,000 award is given out every year by UNEP and the Nippon Foundation to reward environmental innovation, initiatives and research from around the world.

This year, winners will be chosen for work related to the theme for this year’s World Environment Day: ‘Kick the Habit: Towards a Low Carbon Economy’. The Prize will be awarded for work related to reducing society’s dependence on carbon-intensive technologies and lifestyles. Sustainability and the proven potential to replicate will be among the key elements that will guide the search for a winner.

Sasakawa Prize winners are achievers with an established track record of achievement and the potential to make outstanding contributions to the protection and management of the environment consistent with UNEP’s policies and objectives. UNEP’s hope is that the Prize will offer the financial support laureates need to build on their achievements.

To nominate someone, please visit http://www.unep.org/sasakawa before 15 March 2008.

Further information on the UNEP Sasakawa Prize and the nomination process is available at http://www.unep.org/sasakawa or from sasakawaprize@unep.org

Or contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, at tel: +254 20 762 3084, mobile: +254 733 632755, or e-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org; or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, at tel: +254 20 762 3088, or e-mail: anne-france.white@unep.org.

Environmental Sayings

Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking,so that humanity stops threatening it life support system.  Wangari Maathai


Most instituitions demand unqualified faith;but the instituition of science makes skepticism a virtue.   Robert King Merton


In the end, we conserve only what we love.

We will lovw only what we understand.

We will understand only what we are taught.   Baba Dioum