The prestigious Subhash Bose Park is maintained by Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development. The park is a fine example of our efforts . It serves as the green lungs of the core city and a space for recreation . It is now alive and vibrant with music concerts , performing arts and other cultural activities. With the support of ICLEI South Asia, we have also setup a Medicinal plant garden and Butterfly garden. We were proud to have Padma Shri Bharat Mammootty reopen the park in the presence of Hon’ble Mayor Adv. M. Anil Kumar.
Mobilise Your City (MYC) project, an initiative of the Union Government to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport. Kochi is one of the cities selected for the MYC project. Urban Mass Transport Company (UMTC) has been entrusted with the task of implementing the project in Kochi.
Under the MYC programme, the Corporation is planning to construct a 2.5-km-long corridor between North and South railway stations in Ernakulam and thereby decongest MG Road and Chittoor Road. As part of the green corridor project (North – South corridor), a detailed analysis of the stretch was done and the result of the same was presented before the Hon’ble Mayor by the consultants. The meeting was attended by Sri. P.M Harris, Works Committee Chairman, Councillors, Mr.Nithin Norbert, Railway Division Manager, Mr. Dennis Jose, UMTC and the representatives from c-hed.
Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) director Dr. Rajan Chedambath presented our organisations case at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This competition is designed to share and exchange valuable knowledge and experiences between cities all around the world, with C-HED representing Kochi this year. Joining Dr. Rajan on stage and supporting our case was Mayor Soumini Jain of the Kochi Municipality Corporation as well as Ms. Friederike Thonke and Mr. Rienhard Skinner of GIZ, Mr. Octavi de la Varga secretary general at Metropolis, Mr. Hitesh Vaidya director at the National Institute of Urban Affairs and Dr. Monolisa Sen programme coordinator at ICLEI-South Asia. Titled “Institutional Innovations Linking Heritage and Culture: Empowering Urban Local Governments in the Global South”, we made a strong case of how C-HED has been instrumental in transforming urban development in Kochi through local, national and international stakeholder cooperation. We would like to thank all those who have been a part of this experience and we hope we can continue building a sustainable future for Kochi.
The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) and Ashoka Trust for Reserarch in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), organised a 1 day workshop where we discussed and deliberated on measures for water conservation including developing awareness and strategies to help fight climate change. The event was supported by the Kochi Municipal Corporation and Department of environment and climate change,Government of Kerala.
The workshop was preceded by a technical session by ATREE project coordinator Jojo T.D and district rainwater harvesting project secretary Jose.C.Raphel. The technical session explained the practical steps that can be adopted to save water. The programme was aimed at making people aware of different measures to conserve water. An innovative method for water conservation by using wall-mount urinals in houses was also introduced to Kochi residents. These water conservation methods will minimize the water usage and will reduce the water scarcity issue in the city.
The Kochi Municipal Corporation in association with the World Resources Institute India organized a ‘Mapathon’ in coordination with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development, as part of the Cities4Forests project from 9 to 11 January, 2020 at St. Teresa’s College, Kochi to develop monitoring mechanism in Kochi and enhance community participation in restoration.
Kochi is the only city in the country to have been selected for the project last year. In the first phase of the project, councillors from the Corporation’s 74 divisions along with local experts participated in the mapathon which identified the current land use in the divisions using satellite images. The purpose of the mapathon is to establish baseline and assess the trends in tree cover and identify potential areas for restoration in the city. Buildings, green patches, open spaces, waterbodies and roads were also mapped by WRI in consultation with the councillors after which they identified the areas in their divisions where trees can be planted. The three-day exercise will result in a map that can suggest spaces in the city that are conducive to the growth of green patches.
In the second phase of the project, the Corporation will determine the implementation of the project and which trees are to be planted.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India had launched a scheme on “Development of Solar Cities”. Under this scheme Kochi was selected as one among the 60 cities to be supported for development as “Solar/ Green Cities”. The council of the Kochi Municipal Corporation had assigned the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development(c-hed), an institution under the Kochi Municipal Corporation, the task of functioning as the Solar City Cell. As part of the cell’s campaigning activities, the Kochi solar city cell had conducted a poster designing competition with the theme “My vision of Kochi as a Clean Energy City” for the students in the grades 8, 9 and 10 in September 2018. Around 60 posters which showcased the creative visions of the young minds on the theme of the competition were received. The first six students with the best posters were awarded at the Council hall of the Kochi Municipal Corporation in presence of all the council members. Honorable Mayor gave away the certificates and trophies to the winners. The winners were – First: Nived Prem (TocH Public School), Second: Savvy Thomas (TocH Public School) Third: Angel Lizbeth (TocH Public School), Consolation: Pooja V Shenoy (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir), Gayatri B Nair (Chinmaya Vidhyalaya), Shreya Shibu (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir).
INTRODUCTION: The project aims to strengthen the integration of biodiversity management at all levels of governance and facilitate cooperation between national and sub-national authorities for ecosystem management in urban regions. It is funded by Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) under their International Climate Initiative (IKI). The project is in implementation in three countries- Brazil, India and Tanzania and has a duration of four years (2016 – 2020). ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia is the implementing agency project in India. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has identified Kochi as the project model city and Panaji and Mangaluru as the satellite cities.
INCEPTION ACTIVITIES IN KOCHI: The project has been approved by the Kochi Municipal Corporation council through a special council meeting held on 21st August 2017, following which an MoU between the Kochi Municipal Corporation and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia had been signed. The Centre for Heritage , Environment and Development has been appointed by the Council of the Kochi Municipal Corporation as the nodal office in Kochi (on behalf of the Kochi Municipal Corporation) for the project.
WORK UNDERTAKEN: The first phase of the project involved the development of baseline regarding biodiversity management within the project countries and city-regions through a scoping study. A few of the activities have been completed while some are ongoing:
- Key stakeholders (persons and institutions) in and around Kochi were identified.
- Discussions (one to one) were held with the identified stakeholders and officials of Kochi Municipal Corporation.
- Foreign experts visited the city and held discussions with city officials, college teachers and some experts in the area.
- Interviews with experts and other stakeholders (about 50 experts and 10 institutions or organisations) on different aspects of biodiversity and governance were held.
- Several relevant baseline reports, maps and data were reviewed.
- Preliminary mapping of mangroves and wetlands in the Greater Kochi region was done.
- First stakeholder consultation workshop to discuss results of information collected through primary and secondary data sources was held on 27th October 2017; The Hon’ble mayor presided over the workshop and Dr S.C. Joshi, Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, was the Chief Guest. Over 100 stakeholders and experts participated in the workshop. Mangalavanam and back waters were identified as critical ecosystems.
- Biodiversity awareness programme named “Communicating biodiversity conservation with school students in Kochi was held. Around 10 schools in Kochi participated in this initiative. The initiative programme included :-
- Presentation in each school on significance of biodiversity
- Biodiversity quiz in each school
- Biodiversity register preparation for a school,
- Butterfly park development in a school and
- An inter school painting competition.
- The first two programmes and the fifth programme have been completed in all school; third and fourth programmes are going on in the selected school.
- An Expert stakeholder workshop on ecosystem services was held on 3rd April 2018 which had participation from international and national experts .
- Trees in Subhash Park – A GIS based tree map has been prepared wherein tree species have been identified. The details of the same will be brought in the form of a hand book which is ongoing. This will help support the initiative of the Kochi Municipal Corporation on improving open green spaces.
- Development of scoping report- The process is on going
- Natural asset map development- ongoing (GPS field survey for GIS based high resolution natural asset map for Kochi is going on).
- City Biodiversity Index
- People’s Biodiversity Register
- Biodiversity Park
- Biodiversity Park – Mangrove Park : Feasibility Study
As part of the maintenance and management plan of the Subhash Bose Park, c-hed had prepared a major restoration plan for the sculptures in the park. Though the proposal was submitted to three different organizations for the CSR fund support, it was the Cochin Shipyard ltd, who came forward to support the project. The Centre for Heritage Environment and Development will coordinate the restoration work. In this regard a memorandum of understanding has been signed between c-hed and CSL.
Dr. Rajan Chedambath, Secretary of the centre, and M.D. Varghese, General Manager (Industrial Relations) of the CSL exchanged the agreement at a function held on Tuesday in the presence of Hon’ble Mayor and other civic administrators.
The revival plan includes organising a mini art camp where artists will restore the sculptures. A10-day art camp, with the artists who created the sculptures and others will be held.
As part of the ongoing Cochin-Kumla School Atlas Programme, the Principals of the selected schools Bhavan’s Girinagar and St. Teresa’s CGLPS School visited Kumla on August 24th, 2015. The programme initiated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development and ICLD ( International Centre for Local Democracy) aimed at discussing ecological balance, environmental protection and socio-cultural exchange among schools.
Mrs. Sunitha S, Principal Bhavan’s Girinagar and Sister Lucette , Principal St. Teresa’s CGLPS School were selected to travel to Kumla, Sweden.
The ‘steel cutting’ for the two roll-on-roll-off vessels of the Kochi Municipal Corporation was held on August 1 at 11 a.m. at the Cochin Shipyard.
The two vessels, which can carry passengers as well as cars and trucks, have been named as RY 96 and RY 97. Prof. K.V. Thomas, MP cut the steel for RY 96 and Mayor Tony Chammany cut the steel for the second vessel.
The vessels, to be built by the Cochin Shipyard, will be operated in the Kochi backwaters between Fort Kochi and High Court Junction reducing the travel time considerably. By road, it would require over an hour to cover the 20-km distance between these two points.