Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhubaneswar: The 7th Odisha Environment Congress (OEC) will start on 20th December 2016 at 10 AM and will continue till 5 PM of 22nd December 2016. The main venue of the OEC is IMMT, Acharya Vihar, Bhubaneswar. There will be a parallel Environment Congress of children.
The Children Environment Congress will be held at Xavier University, Harirajpur, Jatani, Bhubaneswar. Senior Ministers in Government of Odisha will inaugurate the Odisha Environment Congress on 20th December 2016 at 10.30 AM. The Chief Secretary will be the Chief Guest during the concluding valedictory session on 22nd December 2016 at 4 PM.
The theme of Odisha Environment Congress, 2016 is ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – In the context of Sustainable Development Goals’. This theme is very important for three major reasons: (a) safe drinking water supply, secure sanitation and a descent standard of hygiene is yet to be achieved in spite of numerous government and other interventions, programmes and schemes; (b) Governments are having fresh commitments with objective focus to ensure safe and secure water, sanitation and hygiene access; and (c) the Sustainable Development Goal has set several goals to achieve within definite time periods to ensure clean and safe drinking water to all, safe sanitation, and improved hygiene.
The OEC will bring together policy makers, thinkers, innovators and implementers from different fields. The deliberations are expected to discuss and suggest comprehensive action plan to improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene standards and access in Odisha and elsewhere.
Besides the technical and special sessions; prizes and awards will be given; there will be exhibition stalls on WASH; live art & drawings on WASH & environment; and Cultural programmes.
Event Sessions and Participants of Odisha Environment Congress
About 1000 participants including Ministers, Senior Government Officials from central and state governments, Retired learned persons of immense repute, Intellectuals, Academicians, Researchers, Lead NGOs, Development Practitioners, Community Leaders and Students will participate in the three day long OEC. About 400 children, all winners of various competitions held in the districts of Odisha, will participate in Children Environment Congress.
The main Odisha Environment Congress will be held at IMMT, Acharya Vihar, Bhubaneswar. The Children Environment Congress will be held at Xavier University, Bhubaneswar.
Apart from the inaugural and valedictory sessions, the main OEC event at IMMT will have 13 technical and special sessions. The sessions are: (a) Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): An overview; (b) Universal and Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water; (c) Universal Access to Sanitation; (d) Quality in Water Supply & Sanitation; (e) WASH Governance, (f) WASH and Health; (g) WASH and Gender; (h) Urban WASH; (i) Climate Change, DRR and WASH; (j) WASH – Agriculture & Nutrition; (k) Sharing of Experiences & Best Practices; (l) distribution of Young Scientist Award & other prizes; and (j) Open House Session.
State-wide events leading to the OEC, 2016
The OEC 2016 has been preceded with events throughout Odisha. The major events that have preceded the OEC are:
(a) ‘Prachar Rath’ has covered all blocks of the state to make people aware about Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and about the sustainable development goals on WASH and various government programmes and schemes on water, sanitation and hygiene.
(b) Competitions among students: Essay, Debate, Story writing, Painting and Poster Designing competitions have been held in all blocks of the state as well in all 30 districts. Similar competitions have also been held at Bhubaneswar city level.
(c) Consultation workshops: Consultation workshops have been organised in all districts of Odisha. Apart from discussion on district WASH overview, winners of the competitions have been honoured with prizes and awards in those workshops. A similar city level consultation was also held at Bhubaneswar.
Awards and Prizes
Many awards and prizes will be given during the OEC. Two researchers will be awarded with ‘Young Scientist Award’ for quality research. There will be ‘Swachh Ambassador’ and ‘Green Corporate’ awards. Student winners of various competitions held at state level will be given prizes.
The Odisha Environment Congress (OEC) is a forum of multiple agencies from Odisha and other parts of India that have an interest in addressing environment related issues. This year’s OEC is being organised jointly by the Human Development Foundation – Centre for Development Action and Research (HDF-cDAR), Centre for Environment and Development (CED), Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) and Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC) with support from and in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development, Government of Odisha, Odisha State Water and Sanitation Mission (OSWSM), CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology(IMMT), Bhubaneswar, Water Aid, UNICEF and Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), and a host of other institutions such as the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (IMMT), Xavier University, Practical Action, Centre for Environment Studies, Gram Vikas. Urban Development Resource Centre (UDRC), New Delhi etc.
Previous Odisha Environment Congress
The first OEC was held in year 2010 and continuing regularly since then. It has covered many important themes in the past six editions of OEC. The themes Environment and Water Resources (2010), Environment and Forest (2011), Environment and Energy (2012), Environment and Agriculture (2013), Environment and Climate Change (2014) and Environment: Health and Nutrition (2015).