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World Environment Day Celebrations 2020 @ Amrita Coimbatore Campus

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated the observance of World Environment Day (WED) globally to celebrate the spirit of positive environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on 5th June: engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. The WED theme 2020 is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa, India – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist.


The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has selected the Centre for Sustainable Future at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore campus, as a resource partner to establish Environmental Information System (Envis) Centre on invasive alien species. The main objective of the ENVIS centre is to collect, document and disseminate information on invasive species threatening the biodiversity of the region and other parts of the country.

As a part of extension activity, ENVIS Centre at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, celebrated World Environment Day (WED) on June 5, 2020.

The major events included:

  • National Webinar on the topic ‘Earth is healing now. But, what happens after lockdown?
  • ENVIS newsletter release on theme Biological Invasion
  • Publishing posters on Invasive alien animals and plants
  • E-book release on ‘Faunal Diversity of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Campus’
  • National Photography competition on Western Ghats Biodiversity
National Webinar on the Topic ‘Earth is Healing Now. But, What Happens After Lockdown?

The National Webinar on the topic Earth is healing now, but what happens after the lockdown was conducted as part of WED, 2020 celebration.

Webinar was conducted in two sessions. Dr. Maya Mahajan, ENVIS Coordinator and Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, led the Session and discussed about how environment is healing due to lock down in various countries in short span of time and how the lessons learned during lockdown can be implemented to improve environmental quality post lock down.  Ms. Chinmai Hemani, Climate Change and Sustainability Professional, Gujarat conducted second session on adopting sustainability to protect environment post lockdown.

Releasing ENVIS Newsletter on Biological Invasion

ENVIS-Resource Partner Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham also released its first newsletter ‘Bioinvasion’ on this occasion. The theme of the newsletter is biological Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

The newsletter covers articles on impact of invasive alien species on ecosystems, reports on Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) on Lantana furniture and crafts in Siruvani (Tamil Nadu), Wayanad (Kerala) and Dahanu (Maharashtra) and activities conducted by Envis center and Amrita Nature Club on various environmental events.

Bioinvasion – ENVIS Newsletter on Biological Invasion | Vol.1, No.1, June 2020

Releasing of Posters on Invasive Alien Animals and Plants of India

ENVIS-RP, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham also released two posters on the occasion of World Environment of Day, 2020. The first poster highlighted the impacts of the invasive alien flora of India and the other one emphasized the management of invasive alien fauna of India.

Releasing of E-book on ‘Faunal Diversity of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Campus’

The book on ‘Faunal Diversity of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Campus’ also was released on this day.
Click Here to Read the E-Book : Faunal Diversity

The book describes the faunal diversity of 400 acres of lush green Amrita campus which is surrounded by a part of Western Ghats.

The report on faunal diversity of Amrita campus describes diversity of butterflies, avifauna and other faunal groups such as mammals and reptiles. A total of 90 butterfly species, 114 species of birds ,21 species of mammals and 17 reptiles have been recorded in the University campus and its environs.  Among the 90 species of butterflies, two butterfly species such as Southern Birdwing (Troides minos) and Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) are endemic to Peninsular India and Sri Lanka and Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor) is endemic to throughout India and Sri Lanka.

Photography Competition on Western Ghats Biodiversity

A photography competition was conducted during WED 2020 on the theme ‘Western Ghats Biodiversity’ to generate awareness among student community. Students and researchers from all over India have sent their entries. The last date is extended till June 15, 2020.

ENVIS RP, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham generated awareness among various target groups regarding Sustainable development, sustainable lifestyle, Biodiversity conservation and Management of biological invasion as part of week long celebration of World Environment Day.

Outreach of the WED Program on Social Media

World Environment Day (WED), 2020 conducted by ENVIS RP was appreciated by Hon Minister Prakash Javadekar, Babul supriyo and many others on twitter and facebook.

About Speakers

Dr. Maya Mahajan is an environmental professional and a passionate and committed environmentalist who is currently associated with the Centre for a Sustainable Future, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore campus. She has more than 25 years of experience in research, training, advocacy and management in various sectors of Environment and Development – Biodiversity Conservation, Climate change and Sustainable Development, Participatory Forest Management, Wetland Ecology, Forest Ecology, Environmental Pollution and Environment Education while working with Research and academic Institutes, NGOs and corporate sector in various parts of India. She has presented and published several scientific papers in books, national and international journals, as well as being the keynote speaker for numerous international conferences including 6th Griha summit, Earth Science and Engineering, Environmental Governance & Sustainable development and has written books, book chapters and several popular articles on various environmental issues. She has received several awards including International women Achievers award in the field of Environment and sustainability by Venus Internationals

Ms. Chinmai Hemani is a climate change and sustainability professional from Gujarat working under her proprietary firm name RuChiNi ESP. She has rich experience of over 7 years on research, community outreach with NGOs, corporate and grant based independent researches on climate change vulnerability assessment, adaptation planning, policy analysis wrt climate change and sustainable development, sustainable living. She is an avid nature lover, believer and follower of frugal living and a traveller.  She sincerely believes, wisdom from traditional knowledge, religion and ancient India can show way to the world on sustainable living. Prior to the works on climate change and her MTech in climate change and sustainable development in 2013, she has over 8 years of exp in telecom domain.

First Session started at 4.10 pm Around 27 participants across India participated in the Webinar. During the first session Dr Maya discussed about decrease in level of green house gases such as CO2 and NO2 in various countries such as China, Italy, US and India, which is clearly visible in NASA images. She mentioned that there is 25 percent decrease in GHG levels in China and around 200 million tons of carbon dioxide has reduced just during two months of lockdown period. Pollution levels are drastically down in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore in just 21 days after lockdown. No2 level has drastically reduced in China, Italy and many other countries during lockdown. Water quality in Ganga, Yamuna, Venice canals has improved and dolphins and fishes are clearly visible. Animals are roaming free on the roads in many counties. However she raised the concern about what will happen when lockdown is lifted. Again we will start polluting as before or even more in the name of economic growth. She mentioned that we cannot extend lockdown to save environment, but we can slow down, understand the difference between need and greed, essential and non essential things and adopt sustainable development and sustainable lifestyle as lockdown has taught us that environmental damage can be reduced or reversed in such a short period with drastic actions. We need to learn this lesson and take prevention measures after lockdown which can lead to the continous improvement of Environmental quality.

Later while explaining health hazards due to air pollution she discussed about the facts that in China every year more than 7 million people die because of air pollution as per WHO reports and in India 1.2 people die due to air pollution, which has not been taken seriously which is actually much higher as compared to deaths due to corona virus pandemic. She quoted the study by Marshall brokes from Stanford university which says air pollution levels without lockdown would have killed 20 times more people in China than the number of people died due to covid 19. Another research study also indicated that 4000 children and 73000 elderly peoples life is saved due to avoided pollution due to present lockdown in China,

However she also stressed that we need not undermine threats due to Covid 19 and  have to take maximum precautions to fight Covid 19 pandemic  however we also should not neglect health hazards due to environmental pollutions. She concluded the session by stating that on this international biodiversity day we should understand that every species has equal right to live on this planet and human being is just a part of nature and we must respect nature. At the end she explained about the importance of Sustainable lifestyle and development, which has to be the new normal in the post lockdown days.

Ms. Chinmai discussed about the need of adopting sustainable lifestyle to prevent climate change. She discussed that nature is resilient however the impact of climate is long lasting, and its health impacts would be huge. She also discussed about the importance of reduction in low carbon emission and energy efficient practices.  She stated that climate change would be responsible for one of the major health crisis of 21st century. She also pointed that the EIA approvals cleared for the development projects and industries by ministry during lockdown period, which would cause adverse impacts on the biodiversity regions of India. She concluded the session by stating the importance to cut down the carbon footprint and adopting sustainable lifestyle

Environmental professionals, researchers and students from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab actively participated and interacted in the Webinar.

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