The Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute, an education and training initiative of CSE, was established to communicate the science, complexity and politics of environment across India, South Asia and the world. It seeks to build a constituency and cadre of knowledgeable, skilled and committed environmentalists – from students, decision-makers, field-level practitioners, civil society groups, journalists, lawyers, and concerned citizens.
As part of this mandate, AAETI serves as a research, academic and capacity building hub that conducts a number of short and long-term courses and training programmes.
Short-term courses range from technical workshops on how to build rainwater harvesting systems and decentralized wastewater treatment structures to policy briefings on ecological poverty and food safety, to hands-on training on environmental communication, information management and advocacy. Other training programmes – such as Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Managing Urban Growth, and Urban Mobility, seek to actively engage with industry representatives and regulators in the country and across the developing world. Over the past four years, AAETI has conducted more than 100 training programmes, training more than 2,500 participants from India and around the world.
AAETI also conducts month-long Certificate programmes on environment/development issues aimed at students and the youth. These orientation programmes give students and young development professionals from India and abroad a first-hand experience of Southern perspectives concerning the environment-development debate. The interdisciplinary coursework allows participants to understand and critically evaluate issues that lie at the interface of environment and development; poverty; democracy, equity and justice; and culture. Course modules include environmental governance in India; the state of natural resource management in the country; poverty and the biomass economy; urban growth challenges; industrial trajectory and pollution control; and global environmental negotiations, with focus on climate change.
Certificate courses consist of classroom lectures, seminars, several local field excursions, together with innovative, challenging project individual and/or group work. They also include a week-long field visit to rural India, where meetings with communities serve to illustrate community-led innovations and eco-restoration efforts. The core faculty for Certificate courses is drawn from CSE’s experienced research and programme staff, while guest lecturers include working development professionals, eminent environmentalists, noted academicians from leading universities, grassroots activists and prominent policy makers, among others.
Research, learning facilities at AAETI
The AAETI campus is located adjacent to the CSE main office, and comprises state-of-art learning and training facilities. These include several classrooms with overhead projectors, wireless connectivity throughout the building, several seminar and conference rooms, together with computer labs and common rooms. Notable green building features include energy-saving architectural design, rainwater harvesting systems, together with a decentralized wastewater treatment system.
Environment Resource Centre
Considered among South Asia’s most comprehensive information resource centre, the CSE library is also housed in the AAETI building. The library manages the India Environment Portal, a knowledge management initiative supported by the Government of India’s National Knowledge Commission. Course participants also have access to the fully-equipped Audio Visual Centre, also housed in the AAETI building.