Kartikeya V. Sarabhai

Kartikeya V. Sarabhai is the Founder Director of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), established in 1984 as a Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change, Government of India. CEE was the Nodal Agency for the implementation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in India (UNDESD - 2005-14). Mr. Sarabhai was the member of the UNESCO Reference Group for UNDESD as well as a member of the International Steering Group for the End of the Decade Conference 2014. CEE took leadership in highlighting the role of education for Sustainable Development and partnered with UNESCO, UNEP to organize key international conferences in 2005, 2010 and 2016.

Kartikeya Sarabhai is the co-chair of the Global Citizenship Working Group convened by the Brookings Institution to examine how Global Citizenship Education is measured, and make recommendations for new ways of assessing learning. He was a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at Rio in 1992, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesburg in 2002.  He was the co-author of India's report for UNCED, and has also been closely associated with the communication initiatives of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), especially those connected with Ozone.

Mr. Sarabhai has long been associated with IUCN, and was the chair of South and South East Asia IUCN Commission on Education and Communication. Currently, he is the Vice-Chair of the Indian National Commission of IUCN. He has been associated with the Earth Charter since 2009, and at present, is the co-chair of the Earth Charter International Council. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, and has been associated with the evolution of India’s position vis-a-vis Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), working closely with the Indian delegation to the United Nations.

Kartikeya Sarabhai is the chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development and the Human Habitat established at CEE and CEPT University in Ahmedabad. He is a member of the National Executive Committee for facilitating the implementation of strategic objectives of the “UN Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB) 2011-2020” by the National Biodiversity Authority, and is also a member of the Governing Council of National Mission of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which is the Government of India’s flagship programme for the achievement of Universalization of Elementary Education. Mr. Sarabhai has been appointed as a co-opt member of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s sub-mission formed for the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi Swachhta Mission at the Municipal Corporation level.

Under his steering leadership, CEE has done a variety of programmes focusing on species as well as ecosystems. National Green Corps and Paryavaran Mitra are two nation-wide programmes which include components of biodiversity education through action learning, while the Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Education programme, Hoolock Gibbon-Conservation Awareness and Education Programme and Rhino-Tiger Conservation project are species specific programme which involve school students in awareness and conservation programmes that also extend to the larger community. Some other key programmes in biodiversity education include the Sanjeevani programme, which requires the students to maintain medicinal gardens in their school, the Student Amateurs in School Yard Agriculture (SASYA) programme which develops bio-intensive gardens in schools with support from community, the Children Forest Programme which focuses on growing mini forest by planting indigenous trees in schools, and the Upvan and Nandanavan projects that link biodiversity conservation and climate change education through tree plantation campaigns.

Mr Sarabhai has coordinated design and development of the mobile exhibition on climate change ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’ - the innovative mobile exhibition mounted on a train, a collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Railways, Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre and Centre for Environment Education. In the first four months, this train has already received about 1 million visitors consisting of teachers, students and general public. He coordinated development of the catalogue on ‘Parampara - India’s culture of climate friendly sustainable practices’ highlighting low carbon practices. This catalogue was launched by the Honorable Prime Minister of India at the twenty first session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21, UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015.

Mr Sarabhai is developing a paper on ‘role of education in sustainable development and climate change mitigation’ for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This paper will contribute to the UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report for the year 2016. He also coordinated the collaborative project of UNFCCC, UNESCO and CEE wherein case studies emphasizing education intervention led to climate change mitigation were developed. Under his leadership and guidance CEE is preparing ‘Climate Change Database’, a compilation of initiatives and actions on climate change mitigation and adaptation in India for MoEF&CC.

The Government of India awarded Mr. Sarabhai with the Padma Shri in 2012, in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished service in the field of Environmental Education. In 2013, he was given the Olive Green Crusader award by IAA (International Advertising Association) for his contribution in the field of environmental education and education for sustainable development. He was honoured with the Sir C.V. Raman Memorial Award in the field of science and technology popularization and innovation in May 2014, and the Tree of Learning Award from The World Conservation Union in 1998 in appreciation of his contributions to the field of environmental education and communication. In 2005, The Indian Institute of Human Rights presented Mr. Sarabhai with the World Human Rights Promotion Award. Under Kartikeya Sarabhai's leadership, CEE has been awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar in 1997 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; the Global Level Award for ‘Outstanding Services to Environmental Education’ by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) in 2005, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency 2009 Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection Award.

Mr. Sarabhai did his Tripos in Natural Science from Cambridge University, UK and Postgraduate Studies in Development Communications from MIT, USA.