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CISSA – RCE Thiruvananthapuram Wins Prestigious ESD Okayama Award 2017

Thiruvananthapuram: The Thiruvananthapuram – based Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) – headquarters of Regional Centre for Expertise (RCE), acknowledged by the UN University, has won the Global Prize of the Education in Sustainable Development (ESD) Okayama Award for 2017.

CISSA-RCE’s Kerala Balakrishi Shastra Congress (KBKSC) [Kerala Children’s Agricultural Science Congress] project was selected for the award from among 11 nominated projects in the first-round of selection. As many as 44 applications from 29 countries competed for the awards, and two projects from among these were selected for the coveted award.

The other project which won the award along with CISSA-RCE’s Kerala Balakrishi Shastra Congress was Indonesia-based Dewi Fortuna Community Learning Center’s Conservation of Integrated Traditional Arts in Social and Economic Empowerment of Local Communities.

Dr. C.K Peethambaran, Director (Agriculture) CISSA, will receive the award, which includes a cash prize of US$ 3000 at the ESD Okayama Award presentation ceremony to be held on October 21, 2017, at the Okayama Convention Center, in Okayama, Japan.  Dr Peethambaran will also make a presentation about the award-winning Kerala Balakrishi Shastra Congress project at the award ceremony.

The Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress (KBKSC), is organized by CISSA, RCE, Thiruvananthapuram, in association with Agrifriends – an NGO and Departments of Agriculture and Education, Govt. of Kerala.  KBKSC is a unique project that aims at inspiring an agrarian movement amongthe student fraternity in Kerala. With the state fast turning a consumerist economy, children have become unaware and ignorant of the rich heritage Kerala had in the field of agriculture.

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As part of the Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress, traditional methodologies along with the modern approaches were brought from farms to schools, and students were encouraged to join hands with elders in making food for the future. Students from all the 14 districts of the Kerala state participate in the event which include research paper presentation, exhibition, cultural events and various competitions, all aimed  to create a feeling of attachment towards farming. KBKSC, in fact, works on the principles of Education for Sustainable Development, and each activity undertaken as a part of the project is an innovative approach to ESD.

The Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Thiruvananthapuram, works proactively with community stakeholders to integrate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across all aspects of education and learning. RCE Thiruvananthapuram, with its headquarters functioning at CISSA, focuses on creating platforms and opportunities for strategic thinking and knowledge exchange in the areas of biodiversity, traditional knowledge agriculture, disaster management and energy conservation.

The ESD Okayama Global Award Global Prize is given to two outstanding projects that can serve as global models contributing to the promotion ESD in local communities, every year.

The ESD Okayama Award Steering Board comprises prestigious global organisations such as the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS); UNESCO Bangkok, Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education;  Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU); Japan Council on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD-J); The Goi Peace Foundation; and the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission.