GSP Air Pollution Online Seminar, April 2020
|Green Schools Programme (GSP) organized its first-ever online seminar ‘Let’s Clear the Air on Air’ on air pollution and its health impact on children on 29 and 30 April 2020. Held for two hours on each day, the seminar saw participation from our network teachers from 7 states. This session marked the second annual seminar on air pollution organised by the GSP team—this time completely online!The seminar was initiated with the objectives of strengthening the understanding of air pollution and helping schools achieve the clean air status. It included sessions from experts on air pollution trends and air quality monitoring; health impacts of air pollution; sustainable mobility and the role of schools; and GSP (Green Schools Programme) Audit. An interactive assignment on indoor air pollution and live online quizzes based on Down to Earth videos were also part of the seminar.
Amid the country-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, the CPCB data shows that between March and April 2020, the air quality index (AQI) of 78 per cent cities was ‘good’ and ‘satisfactory’ as compared to 44 per cent cities in the pre-lockdown phase. This essentially implies the need for a change in our consumption patterns. We need to come up with a sustainable ecosystem that reduces the levels of air pollution even after our everyday activities continue. Therefore, the seminar reiterated the need to take learnings from the current experiences during the pandemic to calibrate the future action plan for tackling air pollution in the near future.
Air is an integral part of the GSP Audit. The audit consists of six sections that schools assess their performance on—Air, Energy, Food, Land, Water, Waste. The section on Air helps schools examine the quality of air students breathe within and around the campus. It also encourages them to gauge and improve commuting practices and their impact on the environment. The audit works towards enabling schools to devise a way of operating that ensures minimum pollution. The online seminar was another step in the same direction that extensively dealt with the air pollution trends in the country and air quality monitoring sources. In addition to this, a session on sustainable mobility helped schools come up with commute practices they can adopt in their schools to reduce carbon footprint. Interactive activities on indoor air pollution and regulation of diesel vehicles prompted the participants to place the issue of air pollution within the larger context.
The discourse on air pollution and a plan to combat it is a continuous one. We, along with our schools, teachers, and students, will make consistent efforts to keep awareness and action going in the future as well.
All the material related to the seminar—presentations, videos, assignments and quizzes— can be downloaded by accessing the links provided on this page.
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Please note that as the CSE office is closed due to COVID-19, we will not be able to receive any phone calls.