The role of museums in shaping and creating sustainable futures through educational programmes, exhibitions and community outreach comes under spotlight
World Environment Day (June 5) is an occasion which brings together millions of people across the country for awareness and action for the environment. This year, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India envisages to celebrate the World Environment Day 2023 with a thrust on the Mission LiFE. The concept of LiFE, i.e., Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by the Prime Minister, at the World Leaders' Summit in Glasgow at the 2021 UNFCCC COP26, when he gave a clarion call to rekindle a global pursuit to adopt sustainable lifestyle and practices. Mass mobilisation across the country on LiFE are being organized in the run-up to the celebrations.
The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM)
The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) has promoted Mission LiFE themes at Arichal Munai and Dhanushkodi beaches on Rameswaram Island in the Gulf of Mannar. Dhanushkodi Beach lies at the tip of Rameswaram Island, which is a popular tourist destination with historical, religious, and ecological significance. The Arichamunai Bird Sanctuary in Dhanushkodi attracts several local and migratory birds for feeding and breeding because of the numerous water reservoirs. As part of "Jan Bhagidari" on the themes of Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), to sensitise the general public, including local communities and tourists, on the significance of clean beaches and pollution-free seas, NCSCM organised a cleanup drive in Arichal Munai on Rameshwaram Island. Tourists were sensitised on the themes of Mission LIFE and eco-friendly lifestyles. Visitors joined NCSCM staff in a cleanup effort in the “sand dunes” near Dhanushkodi Beach. These ecosystems provide several important ecosystem services such a prevention of coastal erosion control through their unique sand binding capacity, recreation, bird watching, biodiversity, water purification and conservation. Litter such as plastics, thermocol, bottles, discarded fishing net ropes, rubber material trapped on the sand dune vegetation, were collected and handed over to a nearby material recovery facility. On the awareness front, NCSCM scientists sensitised around 250 visitors of various age groups from distant parts of the country, including West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu on the themes of Mission LiFE. As part of mission LiFE, scientists emphasised the necessity of reducing single-use plastics in such sensitive ecosystems by using eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics, responsible tourism, waste segregation at the source, water and biodiversity conservation, and adopting a sustainable lifestyle. The programme provided tourists with a quick introduction to the coastal sand dune environment, the need to conserve dunes, avoiding “trampling” and “littering” while visiting the dunes. As a part of the event, participants took LiFE's pledge (in both Hindi and English) to stop littering and to live a green and sustainable life. Posters and pamphlets were distributed on the beach as part of this event, and employees emphasised the significance of Mission LIFE to the public.
National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE)
North East Regional Centre (NERC) of the National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE) organized an awareness Programme at the Himalayan University, Jullang, Arunachal Pradesh, followed by a Cleanliness Drive under the ‘Adopt healthy lifestyle’ and ‘Say no to Single Use Plastic' themes of Mission LiFE on 18 May 2023. A total of 81 participants including Research Scholars, students, faculty and other staff of Himalayan University and NERC-NIHE participated in the Mission LiFE program and took the pledge. The program aimed to foster community-level awareness about the critical significance of biodiversity conservation and the devastating consequences of plastic pollution in the Himalayan Region.
Zoological Survey of India
Zoological Survey of India,Digha,West Bengal organized Mission LiFE mass mobilisation program in Digha Science Centre to make people aware of the objectives of Mission LiFE A total 90 tourists were motivated to adopt Healthy Lifestyle.
National Museum of Natural History
RMNH, Bhubaneswar organised a programme on International Museum day where visitors were briefed about the necessity of museums and small kids were introduced live size models of animals made from biodegradable material as part of MISSION LiFE (LIFESTYLE FOR ENVIRONMENT) for 120 participants from schools and general public on 18.05.2023.RMNH, Mysore-NMNH-MoEFCC along with the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, commemorate International Museum Day-2023, under the theme ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well-being,’ on 18.05.2023 as part of MISSION LiFE (LIFESTYLE FOR ENVIRONMENT). About 80 participants participated and were briefed about role of natural history museums in shaping and creating sustainable futures through educational programmes, exhibitions, community outreach.