Coordination, Innovation, Celebration

Education for Sustainable Development: Nepalese Perspectives (One-day Conference)


Sustainable Education Group – Nepal (SEG-N) in association with Nepalese Teacher Network for Sustainable Education is organising a conference titled ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Nepalese Perspectives‘. The one-day conference in going to be held on 9th January 2013 (Wednesday) in the Lecture Hall, Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. 
The conference is expected to serve as the ‘declaration platform’ of Nepalese stakeholders in ESD to urge the UN and the member states to keep up the agenda even after 2014 (DESD).
Call for Presentation
We are calling teachers, teacher trainers, teacher trainees, managers and other stakeholders of ESD for presentations and participation.
Please send e-mail to info@seg.org.np with your brief introduction, contact details and abstract.
We accept PPTs (maybe with videos) and Poster Presentations
Call for Participation
Those who would like to be audience only can also apply for the participation. Please send e-mail to info@seg.org.np with your brief introduction and contact details.

Alternatively you may register your participation or presentation by calling one of the organisers (9841187346) during off hours (not 9 am till 3 pm weekdays).
Each participant and presenter will get stationery and refreshments for the day conference.
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Is this the time for sexuality education in schools?

                                     -Rupendra Pokharel

Time has come. Now let’s open up.
The complexity of changing scenario has entangled us so profoundly that the knots further form another spider web as we try to undo them for getting freed. Thinking patterns have changed; truth and realities are not the same as they were just a decade ago, in fact their absolute nature has become obsolete. And us! We are hanging ourselves by the same old-worn rope which is now no longer equally strong to bear the load if we try to make our progeny hold the same and keep hanging. I am afraid, the fall is irresistible and the crash may be intolerable to our naked eyes and bare ears. Our pretence of being blind and deaf will suddenly get exposed to such a tragic sight and sound that our infinite endeavors to accustom ourselves with them will turn out to be futile and as stunned spectators, we will start looking for the corners to keep us away from them.
                Well, enough with beating the bush; let me hit the target. Taboo. Our societies are full of taboos. Sex taboo. Fertility taboo. Marriage taboo. What more and what not? Even education can be found to stand as taboo if we make a journey just a few miles away from our capital city, let alone the remote rural areas of our beautiful nation! Then, sex as a taboo does not surprise, at least, me. However, now it has started to make its way out of the cocoon and trying to fly as a matured colorful butterfly. Nature. We must realize that being nature itself an irresistible force, our irrelevant nurture cannot resist it. Then, what’s wrong in setting our sails with the tide if it is not supposed to deviating us from our path. Instead, we can save the energy on the paddle to be used in case of emergency.
                Getting into the prevalent practice. Our children are the ‘open’ members of ‘closed’ society as a result of which every covered thing is their target. In the course of uncovering them, they have become vulnerable and wounded themselves so acutely that manyatimes such wounds have appeared to be fatal evidence if not perpetually bleeding. You may question, “Who empowered them to go on uncovering things that I had kept covered for so long expecting them to rust some day?”I have the answer. I empowered my daughter. I empowered my son. I made them inquisitive. I made them curious. I exposed them to these all in covert way, indirect way, informal way and in passive way by means of education. My friend let me tell you, the thing that you had wanted to rust in its hideouts have started sparkling so dazzlingly that it has started attracting every new born by their maturity. We have kept the nature in cover. See, you have again come up with another question, “Where there in our education system do they find such references and mentions?” Yes, you are right. There is no such mention and reference throughout our education beginning form primary to highest level of tertiary education. We have so carefully selected and graded our curriculum that we have successfully prevented any such topic wanting for or, let’s say, requiring any open discussion in neither parts of the system – students or teachers. 
                Oops! Don’t be so searching, when had our education system sought active participation of guardians/parents in the course of educating their children except on the occasions of ‘utilizing’ the budget in the name of ‘campaigns’? Therefore, doing away with this question-answer session, lets go in a world trip to explore where nature is natural.
At the stage of its infancy, the thrust for starting sex education in schools was teaching children about avoiding pregnancy and keeping them safe from sexually transmitted diseases. But in many countries of the world, this education has come a long way into the stage of maturity whereby inviting more thoughts and widened notions. A resent research in America showed that the major concern of parents about the teen age intercourse was neither pregnancy nor the venereal diseases, but worries about the effects of sexual activity on their child’s psyche. It may give rise to a question how can this reference be comparable to Nepalese socio-economic context but I ask why not? What are our children devoid of, I am afraid to say (however it's not just blame shift), except quality education and parenting proper? They have easy access to all sorts of electronic media available in most part of our nation, such that privilege to cable television; most advanced technological gadgets; and knowledge of one of the most far-reaching international language, to name a few. Under such an exposure in which our children are being reared, deactivating some X-rated sites or exercising ban on them, have we been able to serve the ends of our purposes? Therefore, there is no alternate to initiating sex education in schools.
Sex-education in every society, irrespective of developed or underdeveloped, has the evidence of facing hardship and attack during its infancy. Even in one of the most developed lands of the world the USA, this education has evidences of being a controversial issue. Had it not been implemented for fear of the criticism and attack, the concept would never get into the threshold of academic institutions. The facts available reveal that sex education had been established in Europe on a national scale in 1960's and its practices are found to be initiated in developing countries since 1980's. The main cause behind the initiation of this education is credited to emergence of HIV/AIDS. By the time it begun its journey and reached this destination, sexuality education no longer remains confined within avoiding pregnancy and STD's, but it is credited as lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about identity, relationships, and intimacy. It encompasses sexual development, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles. Sexuality education addresses the biological, socio-cultural, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of sexuality (SIECUS, www.ciecus.org).  
 Furthermore, it has not remained only concern of some certain countries but U.N. organizations such as UNFPA, UNESCO, and UNICEF have been supporting sexuality education. Including World Bank, many other bilateral donors and private foundations and organizations are found to support and promote sexuality education worldwide. UNESCO in June, 2009 in its International Guidelines on Sexuality Education has made a claim that "Effective sexuality education can provide young people with age-appropriate, culturally relevant and scientifically accurate information. It includes structured opportunities for young people to explore their attitudes and values, and to practise the skills they will need to be able to make informed decisions about their sexual lives".
 Nevertheless, implementation of this education only after effective planning, curriculum designing and proper training to teachers can help in undoing the entangled knots and stop our youth from perpetual bleeding. Well thought up program meeting the internal standard is the basis for its success or else it will further add to the woe of our bleeding youth.





    
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Climate Change to be in Secondary Curriculum

In the context of emerging climate change and environmental problems from the local to global levels, the government is planning to incorporate related environmental issues in the secondary-level curricula.
The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) and the Curriculum Development Centre under the Ministry of Education (MoE) on Friday concluded a two-day workshop, discussing how to

integrate climate change concepts into the Science curriculum in secondary education.
Nepal is at the forefront of the risks related to changing weather patterns, erratic rainfall and disasters such as floods, drought and landslides. The climate change Vulnerability Index (2011) prepared by Maplecroft, a UK-based risk analysis and mapping company, puts Nepal among the top five vulnerable countries in terms of risks related with changing weather and rainfall patterns.
In order to sensitise the future generation on the emerging environmental problems—local and global, its impacts and measures to adapt to the changing climate, there is an urgent need to mainstream climate change risk management in development activities including the education sector in the country, said Keshav Prasad Bhattarai, secretary at the MoEST.
There is a need to start constructive discussions on the issue and involve all quarters including teachers, curriculum experts, climate change experts and writers and devise an innovative education system that helps the upcoming generation reduce adverse impacts on environment and their life, he said.
Suresh Man Shrestha, secretary at the MoE, said that creating awareness on environmental issues and related problems among the students will be crucial in helping save vulnerable populations.
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Free E-books on promoting peace, health and environment

Dear teachers from Nepal,

Our well wisher and health, environment and peace activist Lesa R Walker from the USA has provided us with coupon codes for getting her 3 online books for free

Link: 
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/idea4ide
a


Coupon Codes:
"Olymp-i-a Health Challenge 1" (use code AC77X)
"Olymp-i-a Green Challenge 1" (use code AW97A)
"Olymp-i-a Peace Challenge 1" (use code BQ55D).
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400 Euros Scholarships (Global Education: The Intercultural Dimension)

UPDATE: The Same institution and sponsors have recently offered Online Course on HRE ((Human Rights Education). Please visit: http://hre.netuni.nl/page.php?id=8

Course

This global education online learning course is designed for education practitioners, social workers, civil society, youth activists, as well as policy and decision makers, local authorities and intercultural cities. .
Please be aware that the course announced on this website regards an online learning course and does not involve any travelling. However, in order to participate, you need to have regular access to the Internet.
The course has been designed to complement the Global Education Guidelines, a pedagogical tool for educators and policy makers to understand and implement Global Education, and share with a wider audience concepts and approaches promoted by the North-South Centre’s Global Education programme.
This second online learning course, under the title "Global Education - The Intercultural Dimension", provides an overview on why intercultural education is relevant and needed, what it means in theory and practice and how it can be improved in relation to the context of a globalised world, the local needs, its contents and methodology.


Content

This course explores the ways of addressing the issues in theory and practice, reflecting on the ideal state considering the evidence from the reality, and developing new ways of understanding and promoting human rights education in the contexts of the participants.
The specific contents include:
  • Introduction to the intercultural dimension of global education
  • Reflecting on the needs for intercultural global education
  • Reviewed concepts approaches to intercultural global education
  • Understanding of existing intercultural education in practice
  • Dilemmas and challenges in policy development towards intercultural education
  • Development of strategies for intercultural political education
  • Rights-based approaches to social and political action


Specific aims of the course

  • To offer a platform to reflect on the role of intercultural education and the challenges posed by the local context in a globalised world
  • To reflect on the concepts and approaches related to global education and its intercultural dimension
  • To develop a better understanding of intercultural education, intercultural learning and intercultural competences
  • To review and strengthen the existing policy approaches to ensuring quality standards and recognition of indercultural education
  • To strengthen the intercultural dialogue as part of political education
  • To connect local and international practitioners and other relevant actors in the field
  • To strengthen the network of global, human rights and intercultural education practitioners


For whom?

The course in general is targeted at people working in or with intercultural learning and education, either as part of international organisations, national educational institutions or those working for national and local civil society organisations, policy makers, local authorities and intercultural cities. The course also welcomes students with a special interest in the topic.Course requirements:
Please note that all participants should:
  • be in command of the English language;
  • be able to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week (every week) on course work;
  • have basic ICT skills and a minimum of internet access.  


By whom?

The course has been developed in partnership between the North South Centre (NSC) and The Network University.
North-South Centre's mandate is to provide a framework for North-South co-operation to increase public awareness of global interdependence issues and promote policies of solidarity in conformity with the aims and principles of the Council of Europe: respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The Network University (TNU) facilitates innovative learning and capacity building for a global network of professionals, students, non-profit organizations, agencies and networks, specializing in creating e-tools for education and networking in the field of development.
the network university
Costs
The North South Centre will provide scholarships of 400 euro, corresponding to the course value. The scholarships will be granted to selected applications on the basis of quality of the application.

Please be aware that an application should consist of the online form and the word document.

For more information please go to the application page . 


Date

The next course takes place from 19 November to 16 December, 2012.
The deadline for submitting the complete application is 11 November, 2012. For more information please go to the application page.

If you would like more information do not hesitate to contact one of the course tutors at icd (at) netuni.nl.


Source:
http://icd.netuni.nl/page.php?id=8
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Book review "Khana Pugos Dina Pugos"

Book Name: Khan Pugos Dina Pugos
Writer: Rabindra Mishra
Publisher: Nepalaya
Published: 2012 A.D
Pages: 293
Price: Rs 300 (writers commission will be donated to Chepang of Chitwan)
Language: Nepali
Moral: Everybody can donate to needy people if they have big heart.
Journalists have somehow easy platform to make publicity of their work, they have power on pen and words. No wonder on it, famous journalist Rabindra Mishra published his second book ‘Khan Pugos Dina Pugo’, a collection of articles which were published in Kantipur and Nagarik daily in different series. All these articles were published between 2065 to 2068 B.S and there are altogether 53 articles in two sections. The first part is about philanthropy journalism and the second is about politics. Rabindra Mishra and his team run a Non-government organization “Help Nepal Network” which collects funds through different sources and use this on different social works. The main intend of these articles is to float their mission to public. This book mainly focus as to encourage people to participate on these type of social works physically and try to define peoples’ favor political system or lokkalyankari rajya i.e. ‘politics of popular will’ specially like scandevian countries.   
 After certain period, many people want to change their main stream profession and try to use their knowledge in different works. It has two reasons. First want to be popular and the other they really want to work in new spirit. Mishra, here, is in the second category. He has great (beautiful) dreams and speaks in some articles like relation on city center and kamalpokhari or Dinbandhu’s work or letter for ex-king Gynandra or Gagan as a president. Of course, many people glimpse dreams which is the first foot step toward prosperous nation but, here are many youths who build dream house and move abroad. We know dream is not seen in sleeping, it is made out in day with conscious mind, Well done! , Mishra tries to convince these educated people to come back to Nepal and join hand on hand to make beautiful nation. He is very lucky that he can collect many names and information about different social news, so it is not only collections of essays but also the history of certain people who are doing best on their field but not recognized properly. Readers can comprehend many of such wonderful names and organizations.
 In second section, he tries to ignore or hide some facts about theories in the name of “Sidhantabadi aandhaharu” that every political system runs in certain global philosophical ideology. So it is not possible in Nepl as well. We can say that political parties are to be more responsible and trustworthy on their philosophy so that they really can do better. He has raised so many other questions in each article some of which really touch our heart and mind. Readers are suggested to read this book not as literature, rather examine to it as collection of questions from social disparity and voices of backward or middle class people through on capitalist eyes and with some courage to donate some amount. 

       
Rajendra Kattel


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Meeting


Today, SEG-N meting held at Bhrikuti Mandap decided the following:
1. To register SEG-N's PAN and affiliate at Samaj Kalyan Parishad; duty is given to Dipesh Dulal.
2. Try to search funding for one national level teachers conference within this year 2012.
We welcome Rajani Manandhar in our organisation.

Rajendra kattel
Secretary
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School is bad for children - John Holt (1969)

Originally published in The Saturday Evening Post, February 8, 1969.

Almost every child, on the first day he sets foot in a school building, is smarter, more curious, less afraid of what he doesn't know, better at finding and figuring things out, and more confident, resourceful, persistent and independent than he will ever be again in his schooling - or, unless he is very unusual and very lucky, for the rest of his life. Already, by paying close attention to and interacting with the world and people around him, and without any school-type formal instruction, he has done a task far more difficult, complicated and abstract than anything he will be asked to do in school, or than any of his teachers has done for years. He has solved the mystery of language. He has discovered it - babies don't even know that language exists - and he has found out how it works and learned to use it. He has done it by exploring, by experimenting, by developing his own model of the grammar of language, by trying it out and seeing whether it works, by gradually changing it and refining it until it does work. And while he has been doing this, he has been learning other things as well, including many of the "concepts" that the schools think only they can teach him, and many that are more complicated than the ones they do try to teach him.

In he comes, this curious, patient, determined, energetic, skillful learner. We sit him down at a desk, and what do we teach him? Many things. First, that learning is separate from living. "You come to school to learn," we tell him, as if the child hadn't been learning before, as if living were out there and learning were in here, and there were no connection between the two. Secondly, that he cannot be trusted to learn and is no good at it. Everything we teach about reading, a task far simpler than many that the child has already mastered, says to him, "If we don't make you read, you won't, and if you don't do it exactly the way we tell you, you can't". In short, he comes to feel that learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself.

In short, he comes to feel that learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself.

In a great many other ways he learns that he is worthless, untrustworthy, fit only to take other people's orders, a blank sheet for other people to write on. Oh, we make a lot of nice noises in school about respect for the child and individual differences, and the like. But our acts, as opposed to our talk, says to the child, "Your experience, your concerns, your curiosities, your needs, what you know, what you want, what you wonder about, what you hope for, what you fear, what you like and dislike, what you are good at or not so good at - all this is of not the slightest importance, it counts for nothing. What counts here, and the only thing that counts, is what we know, what we think is important, what we want you to do, think and be." The child soon learns not to ask questions - the teacher isn't there to satisfy his curiosity. Having learned to hide his curiosity, he later learns to be ashamed of it. Given no chance to find out who he is - and to develop that person, whoever it is - he soon comes to accept the adults' evaluation of him.

He learns many other things. He learns that to be wrong, uncertain, confused, is a crime. Right answers are what the school wants, and he learns countless strategies for prying these answers out of the teacher, for conning her into thinking he knows what he doesn't know. He learns to dodge, bluff, fake, cheat. He learns to be lazy! Before he came to school, he would work for hours on end, on his own, with no thought of reward, at the business of making sense of the world and gaining competence in it. In school he learns, like every buck private, how to goldbrick, how not to work when the sergeant isn't looking, how to know when he is looking, how to make him think you are working even when he is looking. He learns that in real life you don't do anything unless you are bribed, bullied or conned into doing it, that nothing is worth doing for its own sake, or that if it is, you can't do it in school. He learns to be bored, to work with a small part of his mind, to escape from the reality around him into daydreams and fantasies - but not like the fantasies of his preschool years, in which he played a very active part.

The child comes to school curious about other people, particularly other children, and the school teaches him to be indifferent. The most interesting thing in the classroom - often the only interesting thing in it - is the other children, but he has to act as if these other children, all about him, only a few feet away, are not really there. He cannot interact with them, talk with them, smile at them.

In fact, he learns how to live without paying attention to anything going on around him. You might say that school is a long lesson in how to turn yourself off, which may be one reason why so many young people, seeking the awareness of the world and responsiveness to it they had when they were little, think they can only find it in drugs. Aside from being boring, the school is almost always ugly, cold, and inhuman.

And so, in this dull and ugly place, where nobody ever says anything very truthful, where everybody is playing a kind of role, as in a charade where the teachers are no more free to respond honestly to the students than the students are free to respond to the teachers or each other, where the air practically vibrates with suspicion and anxiety, the child learns to live in a daze, saving his energies for those small parts of his life that are too trivial for the adults to bother with, and thus remain his. It is a rare child who can come through his schooling with much left of his curiosity, his independence or his sense of his own dignity, competence and worth.

Our compulsory school-attendance laws once served a humane and useful purpose. They protected the children's right to some schooling, against those adults who would otherwise have denied it to them in order to exploit their labor, in farm, store, mine or factory. Today the laws help nobody - not the schools, not the teachers, not the children. To keep kids in school who would rather not be there costs the schools an enormous amount of time and trouble - to say nothing of what it costs to repair the damage that these angry and resentful prisoners do every time they get a chance. Every teacher knows that any kid in class who, for whatever reason, would rather not be there, not only doesn't learn anything himself but makes it a great deal tougher for anyone else. As for protecting the children from exploitation, the chief and indeed only exploiters of children these days are the schools.

We need to get kids out of the school buildings, and give them a chance to learn about the world at first hand. It is a very recent idea, and a crazy one, that the way to teach our young people about the world they live in is to take them out of it and shut them up in brick boxes. Aside from their parents, most children never have any close contact with any adults except people whose sole business is children. No wonder they have no idea what adult life or work is like. A child learning to talk does not learn by being corrected all the time - if corrected too much, he will stop talking. He compares, a thousand times a day, the difference between language as he uses it and as those around him use it. Bit by bit, he makes the necessary changes to make his language like other peoples. In the same way, kids learning to do all the other things they learn without adult teachers - to walk, run, climb, whistle, ride a bike, skate, play games, jump rope - compare their own performance with what more skilled people do, and slowly make the needed changes. But in school we never give a child a chance to detect his mistakes, let alone correct them. We do it all for him. We act as if we thought he would never notice a mistake unless it was pointed out to him, or correct it unless he was made to. Soon he becomes dependent on the expert. We should let him do it himself. Let him figure out what this word says, what is the answer to that problem, whether this is a good way of saying or doing this or that. Our job should be to help him when he tells us that he can't find a way to get the right answer. Let's get rid of all this nonsense of grades, exams, marks. We don't know now, and we never will know, how to measure what another person knows or understands. We certainly can't find out by asking him questions. All we find out is what he doesn't know which is what most tests are for, anyway. Throw it all out, and let the child learn what every educated person must someday learn, how to measure his own understanding, how to know what he knows or does not know.

People remember only what is interesting and useful to them, what helps them make sense of the world, or helps them get along in it. All else they quickly forget, if they ever learn it at all. The idea of a "body of knowledge," to be picked up in school and used for the rest of one' s life, is nonsense in a world as complicated and rapidly changing as ours. Anyway, the most important questions and problems of our time are not in the curriculum, not even in the universities, let alone the schools.

Children want, more than they want anything else, and even after years of miseducation, to make sense of the world, themselves, and other human beings. Let them get at this job, with our help if they ask for it, in the way that makes most sense to them.

Excerpted from The Underachieving School, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005. Reprinted with permission of Sentient Publications.
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STUDY ON THE LITTER REMOVAL PRACTICES IN THE COMMUNITY FORESTS FROM CENTRAL DEVELOPMENT REGION OF NEPAL. (Dhading District)

Abstract: Forest, agriculture and animal husbandry are the most intractable aspects of economic development in Nepal. Especially in the Middle Hills, forest plays an important role for sustaining both agriculture and animal husbandry by providing green leaves to feed livestock, and the fallen dry leaves for animal bedding and compost making the major nutrient supply to agricultural fields. Large quantity of the litter is removed every year from the forest but the little attention is found to be given in the community Operational plan to quantify the amount of the litter removal, estimation of the nutrient loss, its long run effect on the forest ecosystem and regularization of the collection in scientific way. No study has been found to be conducted in community forests showing the nutrient input through litter fall and nutrient flow through litter removal from the forest. The research is an attempt to study and quantify the total amount of the annual litter fall in Sal (Shorea Robusta) forests, its removal by users and the nutrient loss through the removal in forest. The research is conducted on qualifying the total amount of the litter fall in Sal (Shorea Robusta) forests, its removal, uses by community people and the nutrient loss made every year from the litter removal in Ranibari Community Forests of Dhading District. The amount of the leaf litter fall for the Sal is estimated in the present study about 6.35 tons and about 85% of the total fall is collected by the users. Among the users about 70% are unaware of the nutrient deficiency caused by the litter removal on the forest in the long run. Their views about removing litter for the protecting forest from fire, promoting the regeneration by clearing the ground and creating safety against harmful insects. Through the litter fall total amount of the carbon 2140kg, nitrogen 78.04 kg, phosphorous 9.56kg, and potassium 66.87kg, calcium 44.77kg, magnesium 8.54kg per hectare per year are estimated to be added in the forest floor. Heavy collection of the litter causes nutritional deficiency and the changes soil condition which finally affects plant growth and the yield production. Consequently, the objectives of the community forest management cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Therefore, litter removal practices one of the essential components to be considered while preparing operational plan for community for management.

Key Words: Community forestry, litter fall, litter collection, Nutrient of litter, Shorea robusta
Introduction: Nepal is an agrarian country where about 90 percent of the population is engaged in the farming system. Agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry are the major interrelation components of the farming system. Farming is the based on an interactive system where cropping patterns, animal husbandry and forest products are combined. Forest are very important for Nepal, both from the socio-cultural and economic points of views. Nearly 75% of household energy and 40% of the livestock nutrition comes from the forest (Master Plan for the Forestry Sector, 1988). Forest plays an important role for sustaining the production of agricultural land and animal husbandry. Farming system in mid hills greatly depends on forest inputs such as green leaves to feed livestock, the fallen dry leaves for animal bedding and making compost with animal excreta, major nutrient supply to agricultural lands. Animal manure combined with the large quantities of forest products collected for animal bedding and fodder accounts for a considerable proportion of the nutrient supply to crops (Yadav, 1992; Khadka et al., 1884). People’s dependency on forest products for supporting their livelihood as well as meeting basic needs such as fuel wood, fodder, timber and leaf litter has created a heavy thrust on the natural resources. The consequences of the heavy pressure on the forest can be seen as soil erosion, landslide, flood and drought etc. Hill farmers have increasingly been confronted with a decline in forest fodder supply due to steadily increasing livestock population, deforestation and livestock grazing in forests (Mahat, 1987). The forest is an important factor to sustain production per unit of cultivated land (Shrestha and Katuwal, 1992). This problem is likely to be aggravated further due to the excess removal of the surface litter and crop residues, and continuous topsoil erosion (Jodha, 1995). This has also affected the farming system and caused adverse effects on the socio-economy of Nepal. Forest plays a significant role not only in Nepalese economic development but also in maintaining the ecosystem.
Community forestry program is one of the main national policies of the government of Nepal in the forestry sector which aims at the development of rural community. Community forest is a community based management practices directed towards increasing the direct benefits of the forest resources to the rural poor. Thus, community forestry is a practice of controlling and managing the forest resources by the rural people who use them for their domestic purposes and as an integral part of their farming system. The community people manage the forest based on different silvicultural operations prescribed their operational plan. The procedures of extraction and distribution of timber, fuel wood, fodder and other forest products are clearly mentioned in their Operational Plan but little attention has been found to be given towards the management of litter regarding its regularization, qualification and distribution system. In most of the community forests people claim the free distribution of the litter as their privilege of playing active role in the management and protection of forest as users. Thus, the users collect litter from the forest without giving any due attention towards the impact of the excessive removal of the litter on forest ecosystem.
Litter fall is an important pathway of flow of organic matter as well as nutrient from the vegetation to soil. Thus, it is an essential component of energy and biogeochemical cycles in forests. Litter fall also influences hydrological cycle through the changes in water infiltration and retention characteristics of the forest soil.
Forest floor is open scraped clean by litter collectors, which damages young seedling regeneration (Thomson, 1988). Leaf litter plays a vital role in forest productivity, soil fertility and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystem through its decomposition. Soil fertility influences the decomposition process through the availability of the nutrient to the decomposer and consequently affects the species composition, biomass and activity of the micro flora and fauna (Schaefer and Schauermann 1990; Raubuch and Beese 1995, Bhatta et. Al 2000; Osono et.al 2004, Hirobe et.al 2004). Therefore, soil nutrient conditions are important for the decomposition process of litter (Berg 2000; Staaf 1987, McClaugherty et. al. (1985). In spite of managing litter which plays a major role in adding nutrient in the forest, users are allowed to collect litter throughout the year regarding of time and the season. This might be the reason of unawareness of the users regarding the long run impact of the litter removal on the forest condition in one hand or the minimal research works done through its removal on the other hand. The prevalence of the inadequate technical knowledge and the information might be the reason for not prescribing the management practices of the litter in their Operational Plan.

General Objectives
·         For study total litter-fall and nutrient-loss through litters collection practices in the community forestry.
·         For study total litter-fall and the nutrient-loss through litter collection practices in the community forestry.
Specific Objectives
For the purposes of this study the working objectives were fixed as follows.
a.       To find out the existing litter collection practices in the CF
b.      To estimated the amount of the annual litter fall
c.        To quantify the annual litter removal
d.      To analyze nutrient content in leaf litter
e.       To calculate the removal of the nutrient through litter collection

3. Study Site
Dhading District, a part of Bagmati Zone, is one of the seventy-five districts of Nepal, a landlocked country of South Asia.  The district spread from 27’40’’ E to 28’ 17’’ E and 80’ 17’’ N to 84’ 35’’ N. The district, with Dhading Besi as its district headquarters, covers an area of 1,926km² and has a population (2001) of 338,658. The mountain range "Ganesh" is the predominated mountain range located within Dhading. All of the peaks are over 7,000 meters with some approaching 8,000. The 8,000+ meter mountain "Manaslu" is clearly visible from much of Dhading, although it is located within the bounds of Gorkha. The transnational "King Prithivi Highway" connecting Kathmandu and Pokhara runs through the southern  portion of the district making for easy access too the Kathmandu valley. The road parallels the "Trishuli" River. The western border with Gorkha is bisected by the “Budi Gandaki” river and this river valley is a great entrance to the Himals of Gorkha (with views of the Ganesh range), not to mention one of the prettier river of Nepal. The towns of Salantar and Arun Ghat should get you pointed in the right direction. The district is bounded by East: Kathmandu, Rasuwa, Nuwakot. West: Gorkha, North: Rasuwa and Tibet, South: Makawanpur and Chitwan. The main rivers of the district are Trisuli river and Budhi Gandaki river. Budi Gandaki separates the district from Gorkha district. There are 25 small rivers, the main being Charoudi, Malekhu, Galtukhola, Belkhukhola, Chirandikhola, Maheshkhola, Thopal, Manukhola, Kastekhola, Mastekhola, Surgandhi, Ankhusalyantar. Besides these, there are over 1743 smaller rivers, springs and the seasonal streams. Altogether there are 50 VDCs in the district. As a whole of the mountainous country Nepal, Dhading district is characterized by the geographic diversity. The natural beauty of this area add fragrance with the presence of the 25 rivers, 1700 streams, Ganesh Himal, foundation of Ganga and Jamuna, hot springs of the Jharlang, Guptesora and Chamere cave. These are also important and remarkable sites for the development of the eco-tourism. The altitude of the area from 300 (Jogimara) to 7100m (Pawil Himal) from the mean sea level and the area falls under the subtropical, temperate and the alpine climatic zone. As a result the district has immense ecological diversity. Among the 50 VDCs of Dhading District Most of the VDCs  have been selected for the study purposes. The Study was carried out in Ranibari Community forest situated in the middle hills of Dhading district. This community forest is committed for the upliftment of the economic status of the marginal people through various innovative programs related to forestry. It has been performing different activities since its establishment like equal sharing of the forest products, income generating activities to improve livelihood of the users (by supporting the cultivation of bamboo, grasses etc), organizing different training programs (Governance, Advocacy, Leadership, Capacity Assessment etc), promoting plantation of the medical and aromatic plants, nursery development, development of infrastructure (Road, school building, bio-gas support program, drinking water, irrigation, small bridge and temple), providing different scholarships, books and magazine for library etc. This community forest is very renowned and has won one national awards due to its exemplary works in the community development activities through the management of the forest. It is also affiliated with the Federation of Community Forest Users Group in Dhading. (FECOFUN).
This is a Sal (Shorea robusta) dominant forest where Sal occupies about 85% of the total tree species and in the rest 15% Lagerstroemia parviflora, Sapindus mukorosi, Schima wallichhi and Terminalia alata are distributed all over the forest area. Under the ground vegetations Eupatorium, the common weed is abundantly found in the forest and the wild varieties of the some potential medicinal plants like Asparagus racemosus, Swertia angustifolia and Rauwolfia serpentina are also distributed throughout the forest. Users also have developed a demonstration plot in this research block for the promoting income generation activities for the users. Ranibari Community Forest occupies a total area of 151.87ha of the natural regeneration of the Sal forest under the foothill of the Mahabharat range. Previuosly, forest was almost naked with few scattered tress of Shorea Robusta and obnoxious grasses. The community took self initiation in the protection to of the forest since 1989 in the name of the Ranibari Community Forest User Groups when it was handed over by the community by government by the 1994. Since it has formed a typical model of the community forest in Dhading Distriorest. The denuded forest after protection has covered with Sal regeneration. The forest is well stocked with even age Sal seedlings with the few big Sal trees scattered throughout the forest. The forest is almost homogeneous in composition and it is divided into the seven block of the management. Out of the seven blocks are
Methods
a)      Social Survey: The Ranibari Community forests  has 510 household and the population is about 3000. Social Survey was done in 10% of the total household to know user’s perception about the litter collection practices, the season of the litter collection, its use and the policies adopted in their working plan. The information was collected from the users, executive committee and interest groups by using different methods namely, household survey, informal interviews and the group discussions as well as direct observations. In order to gather the information in depth, the following broad research questions were carried out:
Ø  Are the forest condition is good enough to provide the sufficient amount of the litter for the users.
Ø  What the community forest users groups do with the litter collected from the forest
Ø  Are they getting the sufficient amount of the litter from the forest? What do they do in the case of the insufficiency
Ø  Are there any policies made for the litter collection; regarding time frame, season and the quantity
Ø  What are the user’s perception regarding the removal of the litter from the forest and what do they know about the impact on the forest by sweeping out litter from the forest floor
Ø  What do they do in case of the litter prohibition form the community forest?
Forest Inventory
The inventory of the forest was done in research plot separated for the research purposes and where our litter traps were fixed. A circular plot of 0.04ha (11.28m radius) was made for the inventory of the plot. The measurement of the tree height and the diameter, species identification and the ground cover study were made in the sampling plot. Only those species having the diameter above 6 cm were considered in the measurement but the number of the total plants in the sampling plot was counted.
Litter Collection:
The study on the litterfall was started from August, 2005 to July 2006 for one year. A total 10 litter traps (1m2 with 1mm mesh) were fixed in the forest in 5m interval along base line made inside the sample plot. The net made up of the mesh nylon fabric was tied up with an iron frame to shape it as a trap and fixed it in ground soil and the water. The fallen leaves and the small twigs accumulated in the traps were collected every week for one year. The total amount of the litter fall in a year was calculated and then Sal leaves were sorted for the estimation of the net leaf fall. Leaf was oven dried in 400 C for the estimation of the amount of the dry leaves litter fall per hectare in a year.
Analysis of the Major Nutrient
Composite samples for every month were made from weekly collected leaf litter. One sample per month was selected from the composite samples and used for the chemical analysis. The total carbon (TC), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), total nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) were analyzed by using following different methods.

Total Carbon by Ammonium Ferrous Sulphate Titration
Calcium content by EDTA Titration
Magnesium by EDTA Titration
Total Nitrogen by Kjeldhaal Digestion
Phosphorous content by Spectrophotometric and
Potassium content by the Flame Photometric 

Note: Details will be published soon
 


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Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013 – Register Your Team Now!


Are you passionate about the environment? Do you have innovative ideas for a greener aviation industry? Do you want to pitch your ideas to a global aerospace leader?  Here is your chance!

Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenges students worldwide to develop ideas for a greener aviation industry. Now backed by UNESCO, the 2013 competition is more exciting than ever before.
Fly Your Ideas is open to teams of 3 to 5 students from around the world, studying a first degree, Masters or PhD in any academic discipline, from engineering to marketing, business to science and philosophy to design.
You have until November 30th 2012 to register your team online at www.airbus-fyi.com; or check out the discussion board on the Fly Your Ideas Facebook app here where you can find other students who share your interests and could form a team with you.
The final will take place in June 2013 when the best teams will present their ideas to a panel of experts, for a chance to win €30,000.
Find out more about innovation at Airbus and register your team here.
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Apply for Equitas International Human Rights Training Program in June 2013 in Canada

Equitas is organizing the 34th annual International Human Rights Training (IHRTP) from June 9 to June 28, 2013 in Montreal, Canada. With support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Equitas has funding to award a limited number of bursaries to selected International Candidates.
The Program provides an opportunity for human rights workers and educators to deepen their understanding of human rights and of the essential role of human rights education in effecting social change. Participants from about 50 countries are equipped with innovative tools that enable them to enhance their action to defend and promote human rights and democratic values in their home contexts.
The 2013 edition will have a particular focus on the rights of children, youth and women. The exploration of human rights principles and instruments, ongoing critical reflection and inquiry, as well as extensive sharing of experiences allows participants to strengthen their capacity to engage in effective human rights education, and advance equality and human dignity thus leading to social change.
By the end of the IHRTP, participants should be able to:

  • Use a framework based on internationally accepted human rights standards and principles to analyze the issues and situations encountered in the work of their organizations 
  • Identify ways in which human rights education can increase the effectiveness of their human rights work 
  • Integrate a participatory approach into their human rights and human rights education work 
  • Indicate appropriate ways for putting their learning from the IHRTP into practice in the work of their organizations 
  • Explore networking opportunities essential for furthering the cause of human rights 
  • Determine strategies for promoting gender equality in their human rights education work 
  • Employ a basic evaluation process for assessing the results of their human rights education wor
Eligibility 
The IHRTP is primarily designed for representatives of non-governmental human rights organizations (NGOs), national human rights institutions and government departments who have undertaken some human rights education training activities. In a limited number of cases, consideration will also be given to candidates affiliated with other types of organizations involved in human rights education. Organizations which nominate candidates must: have a demonstrated commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights have an established record for effective action be involved in human rights education activities such as training sessions, workshops, public awareness campaigns, advocacy, monitoring be committed to providing opportunities for their candidate to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the program within the organization.

Candidates from qualifying organizations must: 
  • be active employees / volunteers with their organization for at least two years be in a position to influence the human rights education work of their organization 
  • have knowledge of human rights principles and major international instruments 
  • be committed to transferring knowledge and skills gained during the program to colleagues and to others with whom they work 
  • be sensitive to the issues which arise when working in multicultural groups, and respectful of diversity 

Costs 
The IHRTP participation fee is 5,540$ CAD. Funding opportunity through the support of the Canadian International Development Agency, Equitas has funding to award a limited number of bursaries to selected international candidates. A bursary includes full tuition fees (including room and board) for the 3-week training program as well as travel expenses. Once eligibility has been determined, the Selection Committee will award the bursaries to the International Candidates who best meet the requirements. Due to the limited number of bursaries available, there is no guarantee that the selected International Candidates will receive funding. 

Application 
The completed applications must be returned to Equitas by: November 21, 2012 for the International Candidates; March 28, 2013 for Canadians residents and citizens

The application must include: 
  • The completed Application Form (Part A completed by the Director of the Candidate’s organization; Part B completed by the Candidate) 
  • The Memorandum of Agreement duly signed by the Candidate and the director of the Candidate’s organization 
  • Two supporting letters from national and/or international human rights organizations (other than the candidate’s) familiar with the candidate’s work and/or the work of his or her organization 
  • A brochure (and/or mission statement) describing the candidate’s organization 

For further information about the program, visit this link and also the Official Website.
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Fund raiser hiking !

Teachers from Kathmandu participated in the hiking event  organised by the members of Sustainable Education Group - Nepal on October 16, 2012. They made 40+ km long fun filled hiking event a successful one.

Route for hiking was Bishnu Budhanilkantha - Dandagaon - Gurje Bhanjyang - Suirechour and back. The hiking event was organised to get a refreshment, adore nature and to meet new teachers from Kathmandu. The event was coordinated by Mr Subhash Thapa Magar.

Some pictures follow:
hiking up
scenic
hiking down


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UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development 2014

In 2014, UNESCO and the Government of Japan are organizing the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development - Learning Today for a Sustainable Future (10-12 November) on the occasion of the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

The 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development will carry out a stock-taking of the implementation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and celebrate the Decade’s achievements. The Conference will showcase initiatives, actors, networks and ideas that were stimulated by the DESD. Examples of good practice from all over the world will play an important role in identifying viable approaches to ESD, as well as key areas for future action.


Building on the Bonn Declaration from 2009, the Conference will draw out the relevance of ESD to all efforts to improve the quality of education. It will highlight the role of ESD for the transition to green economies and societies and as a catalyst for cross-sector planning and implementation of programmes in areas such as climate change, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction. It will also address how ESD can help move Sustainable Development policy and action forward to meet different global, regional, national, and local needs.

Reviewing the implementation of the Decade at the Conference will lead to the development of strategies for ESD activities after 2014. With the target date of the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All (EFA) objectives approaching in 2015, and two years after the Rio+20 conference, the Conference will also highlight the relevance of ESD for the next set of global education and development goals. It will make concrete contributions to the post-2014 education and sustainable development agendas.

The Conference will be preceded by Stakeholder Meetings in Okayama, Japan, from 4 to 8 November 2014.

The meetings will bring together key groups such as UNESCO ASPnet schools, youth and higher education institutions and provide inputs and recommendations to the World Conference on Education.


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Eco-friendly cars and the environment (Graphics for US informal education)

by Allison Morris and group (US based graphics for internet educational resources)

Green Cars Infographic
Original Post : http://www.carinsurance.org/green-cars.
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Enter the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest

Deadline: 30 November 2012
Open to: Individuals who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry and who do NOT reside in Cuba, Iran, New Jersey, North Korea, the Province of Quebec, Sudan, Syria or Vermont.
Prize: The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013

Description

As a leader in capturing our world through brilliant imagery, National Geographic sets the standard for photographic excellence. Last year, The National Geographic received more than 20,000 entries from over 130 countries, with professional and amateur photographers across the globe participating. Well, it’s that time of year again—enter today! Send National Geographic your best shots in any of these three categories: people, places, and nature. Please submit images that accurately reflect the captured moment in time. In other words, keep it real.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013: A behind-the-scenes experience like none other.
During the contest, visit National Geographic weekly to view the editors’ favorites. Want to be your own judge? See every photo, choose your own faves, then share them with family and friends.

Who can enter?

Contest is open only to individuals who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry and who do NOT reside in Cuba, Iran, New Jersey, North Korea, the Province of Quebec, Sudan, Syria or Vermont. Employees of National Geographic Society, and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, whether or not related are not eligible. For more insight in the rules and regulation see this page.

Prizes

Grand Prize: $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar.
Two Runner-up Prizes: $2,500
The winning photos will be published in National Geographic magazine.
In addition to prizes, National Geographic photo editors will be showcasing their favorite entries every week on the website. Submit your photos early for a chance to be featured on the National Geographic website.

How to enter?

To enter the contest, upload your photos to the National Geographic Photo Contest website between September 1 and November 30, 2012. Enter as many photos as you’d like!
Each Entry consists of an entry form, a single image, and an entry fee. The entry fee is US$15 per entry. To enter, visit this page; complete an entry form with the required information, including your name, address, telephone number, email address, and photo caption; and submit along with your photograph and fee in accordance with the instructions that follow.
The Categories for entries are: (1) People, (2) Places, and (3) Nature (the “Categories”). There is no limit on the number of entries per person. Photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this Contest. The photograph need not be taken with a digital camera; scans of negatives, transparencies, or photographic prints are acceptable. All digital files must be 5 megabytes or smaller, must be in JPEG or JPG format, and must be at least 1,600 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,600 pixels tall (if a vertical image).
Photographs must have been taken within two (2) years before the date of entry and may not previously have won an award in the National Geographic Photography Contest, the National Geographic International Photography Contest, or any, National Geographic Traveler photo contest in the last three years. For more details about the submissions, releases, the judging process, limitations and conditions see the same page.
The official website
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