CENTER FOR GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CULTURE (CGEC)

Pursuit of knowledge on environmental culture that nurture high level of biodiversity, susceptibility of this culture to indiscriminate human intervention, and sustaining this endowed natural culture for the sustainability of human itself is the need of the time. Consequences of   indiscriminate human interventions on global environmental culture, the earth, as a whole, is experiencing downside changes with the increasing frequencies and intensity of extreme events and catastrophes.

Realizing the consequences,, the Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) was established in 1999 for influencing  local, national, regional and international decisions and policies on environmental issues and sustainability through cutting edge research and offering comprehensive professional development programs to improve human capacity of private voluntary agencies, local and national governments and international organizations. CGEC has got, experts professionals and scientific researchers on environmental issues and is contributing to environmental sustainability in the areas of climate change, ecosystems, natural resources and landscape management, sustainable agriculture, organic farming, biomass recycling, waste management and education for sustainable Development (ESD) etc. The centre is now hosting world’s biggest Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Greater Dhaka duly acknowledged by the United Nations University (UNU). The Institution got UN Flagship and Good Practice Award for spreading environmental education during the three consecutive  years( 2012, 2013 and 2014).

Background

CGEC  has been progressing very steadily focusing the environmental issues faced by the global community as well as Bangladesh.. With the initial cooperative support from  the Institute for Science and Technology Policy (ISTP) of Murdoch University, Australia.  Professor M Alimullah Miyan, the Vice Chancellor and founder of IUBAT took the leadership of the centre as a Chairperson and has been contributing with his long run expertisee on dealing with natural calamities and  climate change extremes those are not controlled by the geographical boundaries and  to  solve the global issues, extreme events and for  sustainable development.

Objectives

The CGEC aims at achieving environmental sustainability for Bangladesh through its promotional activities  by developing trained and skilled professionals for building public awareness  and knowledge on environmental reactions to human intervention as well as sustainable and optimal exploration and use of environmental resources for the benefit of global citizens.

The broad objectives of the CGEC are to:

  •  conduct training for people in development 
  •  undertake projects for research work and 
  • promote a culture of environmental development
  • Ecosystem management and self-reliant sustainability of people.
  • Environmental ethics, regeneration of eco-resources, energy efficiency, alternative energy use, renewable energy system and relevant actions research will be put in practice.

Inadequacy of skills and sensitivity to environmental issues among the planners and implementers of development works in Bangladesh is the cause of many environmental problems.

Therefore, the objectives of the CGEC are to gear up establishing a culture of environment  enlightening motivation, training, education and field demonstration to the people involved in development.

The objectives of the centre, in particular, are:

  •  To apply of knowledge management science for effective management of environmental aspects. 
  •  To develop and integrate indigenous knowledge on environmental management and sustainability through research and consultation. 
  •  To conduct training and workshops for executives and policy makers to develop skills in environment. 
  •  To develop academic specialization on environment. 
  •  To disseminate information on environmental issues through information sharing and publication. 
  •  To develop appropriate linkages with national, regional and international environmental organizations. 
  •  To study on ethnic and traditional wisdoms and cultural practices to fill the knowledge gap towards sustainability. 

The programs of CGEC include Training, Workshops, Seminars and conducting research. It provides a Certificate Course on Environmental Management.

Certificate Course on Environmental Management

This is a four-week certificate course  offered once in a year.. The course covers environmental science, engineering, legal and policy matters for improving environmental management skills of mid-level executives.

Workshop on Environmental Management

This workshop on Environmental Management involves both environmental sciences and engineering disciplines including legal frameworks. This workshop is offered on 4-weeks in the afternoon or 2 week’s full time. It provides multidisciplinary overview of the field of environment and is intended to improve the understanding, knowledge and skill of graduates (Preferably Science/Law/ Engineering/ Journalism/ Medicine, etc.) of junior, mid to senior level persons having responsibility for some aspect of environment management. On completion of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand the basic environmental sciences, engineering and associated issues.
  •  Acquire knowledge about the country-specific and site-oriented environmental problems. 
  •  Identify specific environmental issues and implement plan to make remedial measures 
  •  Frame regulatory laws, legislation, and other related legal frame-works for environmental protection. 
  •  Advise the government, public and private sectors in their industrial enterprises. 
  •  Adopt pollution control measures for water, air, land, noise level, etc. 
  •  Prepare Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects. 
  •  Awareness about the environmental problems through multi-media approach. 
  •  Safety signs and symbols 

The curriculum of the workshop covers the following topics:

  •  Introduction to environmental science and engineering. 
  •  Environmental issues-both global and Bangladesh. 
  •  Environmental parameters and their standard in Bangladesh. 
  •  Environmental and Health hazards. 
  •  Environmental Policy, Action Plan and Strategies. 
  •  Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). 
  •  Legislation, laws & other legal frameworks for environmental protection. 
  •  Industrial pollution and treatment plants for different industries. 
  •  Municipal solid wastes, their treatments & recycling. 
  •  Environment, development and disasters and their interactions. 
  •  Conservation and management of natural resources for sustainable development.
  •  Mass awareness of environment through multi-media approach. 

Training of Trainers on Environment Management (TOTEM)

The CGEC plans to conduct TOTEM annually with support from foreign donor sources. The course duration will be two weeks to develop trainers in environment management within the country. The aim of TOTEM is to provide an exposure to the components of environment management and improve skills of persons dealing with environmental issues. Persons trained will develop better skills and as good trainers, they will be able to better manage the training in environment related disciplines. Specifically, the training seeks to:

  •  Enhance the knowledge and understanding in environment management and its related disciplines with theory and practice. 
  •  Improve environment related personnel management skills. 
  •  Prepare the trainers to develop capability to organize and contribute to training of personnel of various categories in environment management. 
  • Improve the trainer’s capability in information management, instruction methods, training planning & implementation, scheduling, etc in environment management.
  •  Protection of Structures by Design 

The curriculum of TOTEM focuses on an overview of various disciplines of environment management as well as development of trainers who can substantially contribute to environment management training and development. The course content includes:

  •  Knowledge and understanding of environment and its related issues. 
  •  Applications of environment management principles and approaches to practice and implementation. 
  •  Assessment and monitoring of environmental degradation risks. 
  •  Ways to mitigate environmental degradation process. 
  •  Understanding human and organizational behavior. 
  • Improving environment response through better program management
  •  Environment and health hazards.
  •  Identification of environment degradation in land, water, air, noise level, etc and appropriate steps for their protection. 
  •  Determination of industrial, domestic and municipal solid wastes pollution and their abatement and remedial measures. 
  •  Standardization of environmental parameters and maintaining them in tolerance level by treatment plants, recycling, and other approaches. 
  •  Adoption of legal frameworks. 
  •  Creation of public awareness through multi-media approach. 
  •  Interactions of environment, development and disasters. 
  •  Environmental policy, action plan and strategies. 
  •  Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects. 
  •  Information management tools and techniques. 
  •  Training pedagogy, organization, material development and conducting training. 
  •  Instructional methods. 
  •  Training planning and scheduling. 
  •  Organization of field visits and first hand experiences at site. 

Murdoch-IUBAT Program on Sustainability

Murdoch University (MU) of Perth, Australia and IUBAT University have initiated a joint program on environment. Center for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) of IUBAT University and Institute of Sustainability and Technology Policy (ISTP) of MU are involved in this program. Action researcher from ISTP, MU, Australia arrived in IUBAT during February to work on this program and also to follow-up on other collaborative activities between the two universities over the past 4 years.

Two short-courses on Sustainability were jointly offered on April 11-12 and 19-20. Each course was specifically designed to provide an overview of key issues in sustainability and to prepare practitioners with the appropriate skills and knowledge to contribute more effectively in their institutions and developing their career. Participation in the courses was through registration. Academics, scholars, researchers and activists on sustainability were eligible to join the program. This was the first major training activity of CGEC, which was established to address the growing need of human resources development on sustainability and environmental management. The center will continue to offer similar training courses, workshops, seminars and publication as means of improving skills on sustainability and environmental issues on its own as well as in collaboration with ISTP, MU.

Certificate Awarding of Sustainability Course

The certificate awarding ceremony of the course on Sustainability organized by CGEC of IUBAT jointly with ISTP of MU, Australia was held on April 20th at the auditorium of Bangladesh Meteorology Department, Dhaka. The training course is part of the new initiative of CGEC, IUBAT to develop skill and awareness on environmental sustainability, bio-diversity, ecology, environment friendly development, renewable energy and self-reliant technology. Fifty six participants joined the program and completed the requirements. Participants were drawn from different type of organizations like NGOs, government departments, universities, international bodies, research organizations, media and professionals. Four completed the program successfully while 52 received the certificate of attendance.

Chief Guest of the ceremony was the Minister for Disaster Management & Relief, GOB.  In his address, the Minister emphasized the need for giving proper attention to environment to maintain ecological balance. He pointed to the banning of polythene and legislation on environment preservation as indications of the commitment of the government towards preserving sustainable environment in the country. He appreciated the pioneering role of IUBAT in promoting disaster management in Bangladesh and expressed the hope that the new initiative on environment with Murdoch collaboration will benefit the teeming millions in this country.

EGEC and CTRPD of IUBAT  in cooperation with a visiting professor of Curtin University, Australia  has undertaken an initiative to start a Certificate Course on Sustainabilty in December 2014.

Research on Environment

The research on Eco-development in a Rural Barind Community was initiated in the year 2000 with resource support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) channeled through the Sustainable Environment Management Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Government of Bangladesh. The research was carried out under the Centre for Global Environmental Culture(CGEC) of IUBAT in collaboration with the ISTP of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

This project was carried out in the villages of Shaikhpur and Raninagar of Goran union under Godagari thana of Rajshahi district. The research involved setting up of an eco-village establishing plantation of environment friendly plants, conservation of bio-diversity, introduction of renewable energy systems such as bio-gas plant, energy efficient cooking stove, solar panel, bio-fertilizer and the like through participation of village community. Training, orientation and motivation of villagers in sustainable living were part of the process of development. The impacts of these inputs were measured for evolving institutional framework for sustainable development processes, policy implications and replication guidance.

The research was completed and the report was published in September, 2002 in mimeograph form. The report was accepted by the GOB.

The action research project dealt with eco-development which means a generated development synergy resulting from environmental development and ecological development for the achievement of socio-economic self-reliance and sustainability of people of the Barind Tract. The project demonstrates processes of eco-development aiming at improving the degraded environmental and socio-economic conditions of the Barind villages. Increasingly decreased water-flow in the Padma river during dry season (January to May) and extraction of underground water for irrigation purposes exceeding natural recharge capacity are widely believed to be the principal causes of environmental deterioration (desertification and ecosystemic down turn) and consequently economic poverty of the people of the Barind. Attempts have been made to address the environmental and economical concerns with sustainable technologies. Elder villagers took part in the project lending their cooperation, experiences and wisdom. Their participation facilitated the introduction of some eco-technological means and revival of traditional village culture. The project outcomes will synergistically help regain rural self-reliance in the aspects of their livelihoods and environmental sustainability.

The project has implemented environmental awareness building program, plantation of indigenous trees over-shadowing the on-going culture of plantation of exotic Sissoo and Eucalyptus etc; adoption of renewable energy technology systems and energy efficient cooking technology.

Environmental awareness building program has educated people about the environmental management in the light of the past environmental scenarios of the region. Plantation of native trees are now considered by people that these trees are environmentally, economically and nutritionally beneficial than the exotic species. A biomass digester (biogas technology), eight bio-compost pits, and a solar PV have been installed for demonstration. Biogas and bio-compost pit technology would help reduce exploitation pressure on biomass resources and generate biogas for cooking, bio-manures for sustainable agriculture (including aquaculture), regenerate soil and environmental health, cut the current practices of using chemical fertilizers, and enrich biodiversity. Solar energy system has various merits as to energy and environment related matters. In sum, the project outcomes have implications for national policy regarding eco-development.

Program on Education for Sustainability

CGEC introduced Program on Education for Sustainability. Professor M Alimullah Miyan and Professor Eric Frank jointly inaugurated the program with formal declaration of IUBAT as a Green Campus in August 12, 2008. The green Campus of IUBAT is a symbol of implementation of sustainability activities along with sweet behavior and manner and environment-friendly for higher educational institute.

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is to educate the people to make them sincere for rational and sustainable use of natural resources and to refrain from such activities which are threat to the lives, and simultaneously to keep the natural resources at a balanced condition for future generation of the planet i.e., to keep the earth as a healthy habitat for next generation. EfS values respects: respect for others, respect in the present and for future generation, respect for the earth and what it provides i.e. the resources, flora and fauna.

EfS and Nature: Our earth is for all. The land, water, air and the lives: all the creations are in a binding of natural laws. Though, change is universal but the whole system is working in a harmony of unity between diversity and complementary to each other. Since human being is superior to all other creation, it dictates the natural activities for his interest. A dramatic change has been occurred in past two centuries due to development of industries, agriculture, transportation, and health sectors etc., which has improved the lifestyle and communication a lot but the over exercise has reversed the earth habitat to an unsuitable place for many, including the human beings. We have already lost thousands of species; climate change and global warming, as well as, food security have become a great threat to land dwellers.

Burning of fossil fuels, uses of arsenals and chemicals etc. polluted the air, water and soil. Contaminated water, food and air are affecting lives. Crisis of energy, food, drinking water, disasters like cyclones, floods, drought, and outbreak of epidemics etc., and safe disposal of wastes are of very frequent. Moreover, loss of biodiversity and diminution of natural resources further aggravating the prevailing environmental conditions. Therefore, we need to take immediate action to protect our environment and bring back the world favorable for living. The EfS has made a strong commitment for implementing sustainable activities.

EfS’ Vision: Education for sustainability is about learning to:

  •  Respect, value and preserve the achievements of the past. appreciate the wonders and the peoples of the Earth 
  •  Live in a world where all people have sufficient food for a healthy and productive life
  •  Assess, care for and restore the state of our Planet 
  •  Create and enjoy a better, safer, more just world be caring citizens who exercise their rights and responsibilities locally, nationally and globally.

EfS’s Belief is to educate individuals and communities to make aware of environmental facts, moral development, practices to implement individually, then to friends and family and then zonal and regionally.

EfS’s Goal is to achieve a Green Earth, a place for all for the generations to come. Respecting the natural laws, and reframing the socio-economic structures

EfS provides formal and informal education of Sustainable Practices for awareness, implementation and moral development of youths, students, children, volunteers, trainers and teachers, households and policy makers through academic and non-academic counseling, training, seminars, workshops and field days etc. EfS provides interdisciplinary and holistic learning rather than subject- and values-based learning through multi-dimensional approaches: word, preaching, advocacy, mustering, debate, doing and practicing individually.

 IUBAT is a “Green Campus” with all sustainable practices like, energy conservation, rational uses of resources like water, papers and stationeries; and of course, good manner and behavior of all and with greenery.

The proceedings of the Dialogue on Education for Sustainability and Role of Education for Sustainability in Pollution Control are available online and the centre website

http://www.iubat.edu/centers/CGEC.html

RCE Greater Dhaka: www.rcegreaterdhaka.org

The RCE Greater Dhaka facilitates collaboration to research, develop and promote Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship, so that is central to the emergence of a sustainable megacity and coastal zone. The vision of the RCE Greater Dhaka is to tackle the problems identified in the key ESD challenges in the region and contribute to the promotion of Education for Sustainable Development both locally, regionally and globally. The RCE’s ultimate vision is to engage all city dwellers as well as the people of the coastal zone of Bangladesh in lifelong learning and effective change of sustainable ways of being, living, working and acting. It is envisioned that the RCE Greater Dhaka will serve as an example of good practice to other regions facing similar sustainability challenges and issues and contribute to the goals set by the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Vision of RCE Greater Dhaka

  • Respect, value and preserve the achievements of the past. Appreciate the wonders and the peoples of the Earth
  • Live in a world where all people have sufficient food for a healthy and productive life
  • Assess, care for and restore the state of our planet
  • Create and enjoy a better, safer, more just world be caring citizens who exercise their rights and responsibilities locally, nationally and globally.

RCE Greater Dhaka’s Belief is to educate individuals and communities to make aware of environmental facts, moral development, practices to implement individually, then to friends and family and then zonal and regionally.
RCE Greater Dhaka’s Goal is to achieve a Green Earth, a place for all for the generations to come. Respecting the natural laws, and reframing the socio-economic structures
RCE Greater Dhaka will provide formal and informal education of Sustainable Practices for awareness, implementation and moral development of youths, students, children, volunteers, trainers and teachers, households and policy makers through academic and non-academic counseling, training, seminars, workshops and field days etc. ESD provides interdisciplinary and holistic learning rather than subject- and values-based learning through multi-dimensional approaches: word, preaching, advocacy, mustering, debate, doing and practicing individually.
The specific objectives of the centre, in particular, are:

  • To apply of knowledge management science for effective management of environmental aspects.
  • To develop and integrate indigenous knowledge on environmental management and sustainability through research and consultation.
  • To conduct training and workshops for executives and policy makers to develop skills in environment.
  • To develop academic specialization on environment.
  • To disseminate information on environmental issues through information sharing and publication.
  • To develop appropriate linkages with national, regional and international environmental organizations.
  • To study on ethnic and traditional wisdoms and cultural practices to fill the knowledge gap towards sustainability. 

The programs of RCE Greater Dhaka include Training, Workshops, Seminars and conducting research and exchange of knowledge through networking. It will monitor the ongoing development activities and will scrutinize the long-term sustainability and also the contra effects of both short term and long term benefits in respect to global environmental changes.
Special attention will be given of functional mechanism of ecosystem services and their sustainability.

International Award Received: Professor Alimullah Miyan, Chairperson RCE Greater Dhaka attended the 7th Global RCE Conference held in Tongyeong, Republic of Korea in September 2012 and received the prestigious Good Practice Award from the United Nations University (UNU) International Advanced Studies (IAS) on ESD.

Participation in International Conference Prof Dr M Alimullah Miyan represented the RCE Greater Dhaka in the 7th Global RCE Conference held in Tongyeong, Republic of Korea, September 2012 and made modest contribution to the conference proceeding.

WWOOF Bangladesh

www.wwoofbangladesh.org

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) Bangladesh was inaugurated by Professor M. Alimullah Miyan, Founder and Vice Chancellor of IUBAT and Mr. John Vanden Heuvel of WWOOF International on 25th February 2010. The WWOOF Bangladesh headquarters is IUBAT University, sponsoring this world famous organization.

WWOOF provides opportunities for the organic farm producers to share information, knowledge, techniques and cultural practices among the volunteers and members of the Organic Farming community around the world. The members of the WWOOF are the WWOOFers, exchange their experiences on organic farming learn new things and also contribute knowledge from/to the other regions as guest WWOOFer and Hosts. WWOOFing is solely a volunteer mechanism to reestablish organic farming worldwide for a sustainable agriculture and also for keeping a better world for the future lives and mankind.

WWOOF has 51 member countries including Canada, USA, Australia, UK, Irelands, Germany, Denmark, India and Nepal etc.

Action Research

The CGEC completed an action research on Environmental Development in a Rural Barind Community, Godagari, Rajshahi with resource support of UNDP channeled through the Sustainable Environmental Management Program (SEMP), Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOB. Other implemented programs are:

  •  PROCEEDINGS OF THE DIALOGUE ON EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY Held on August 12, 2008 at CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka, Bangladesh Time: 10:30 AM to 2:0 PM 
  •  Special Plantation Program -2008: November 18, 2008, IUBAT Campus, Uttara, Dhaka 
  •  Campaign against Turag River Pollution: November 18, 2008 
  •  The Role of Education for Sustainability in Pollution Control: November 25, 2008, IUBAT Conference Hall, IUBAT, Uttara, Dhaka 
  •  Participated in the Workshop on Finalization of Standing Orders on Disaster Management, organized by The Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, Disaster Management Bureau, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and UNDP-Bangladesh 
  •  Bandarban Hill District, Chittagong Hill Tracts to plan for a model Sustainable Upland Agricultural and Biodiversity project. 
  •  Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development through Community Learning Centre (CLC), Organized by UNESCO, Okayama University, Japan & Ahsania Mission, Dhaka, Bangladesh, IDB Bhaban, Dhaka, January 11-12, 2009 
  •  Seminar on Solar Energy for High-Rise Buildings in Urban Areas: Held on July 30, 2009 at IUBAT Conference Hall, Dhaka 
  •  Study on the Traditional Practices for Solid Waste Recycling in Rural Homes, Paper presented in the International Conference on Solid Waste Management; Waste Safe 2009 held on November 9 and 10, 2009 at KUET, Khulna, Bangladesh. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Solid Waste Management; Waste Safe 2009 held on November 9 and 10, 2009 at KUET, Khulna, Bangladesh, Vol. 2: pp 707-716 
  • “Save Uttara Lake” an awareness program was organized jointly with the Daily Samokal, February 25, 2009
  •  Plantation program 2010 in 5th June 2010 
  •  EfS has prepared a Handbook on Awareness and Practices, and curricula for age group 12 and above is in progress 
  •  Activity classes were also taken for the Students of IUBAT under Education Planning Course 
  •  Bamboo: an Excellent Plantation Crop for Climate Change Adaptation; IUBAT Conference Hall, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka, April 25, 2010 
  •  Coconut: a Great Plantation Crop for Climate Change Adaptation; IUBAT Conference Hall, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka, May 2, 2010 
  •  Status of Fusarium solani sp. Dalbergiae, the wilt pathogen of Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. By Trichoderma viride and T. harzianum International Botanical Conference, Chittagong, Bangladesh  December 8-9,, 2009
  •  Seminar on Climate Change and Global Food Insecurity: A Trend Analysis by Fulbright Scholar Dr Mohammed Rabbi,Associate Professor, Life Sciences and  Science, Valley Forge Military College, Pennsylvania, USA, January 10, 2014 
  •  Seminar on Fungal Role in Ecosystems and Fungal in Human by Dr Babla Singha Barua (Head Researcher), Mushroom Research and Development Office, Jinen Koubo, Co., Ltd, Gunma, Japan, March 5, 2014 

Collaborative research Programs with International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Synthesis Integration and Exploration (IGBP SIE): Sweden

  •  Droughts in Environmental Changes and Sustainability of Asian Least Developing Countries (LDCs) : Professor M Alimullah Miyan 
  •  Flood in the Context of Environmental Changes and Sustainability: Bangladesh and Nepal: Mr. T. H. De Wan 
  •  Marine Environment of Bangladesh and Myanmar: Dr M. Shohidullah Miah 
  •  Coastal Zone Management in  Bangladesh: Dr. Mohammed Ataur Rahman 

Other ongoing Projects:

  •  Study on traditional production of Date palm sugar in Faridpur 
  •  Food Security and Soil Fertility of Hilly Areas of Bangladesh, a running project 
  •  Wetland preservation in Dhaka City Area: A project has been submitted to Ramsar Bureau 
  •  Sustainable Landscape Management in Bangladesh, project is in progress 
  •  Study on under-utilized species, is in progress 
  •  Sustainable landscape management of Bangladesh 
  •  Germ plasma Centre at Ashulia, Uttara, Dhaka