Conference Chair Stien J. Matakupan and Khaira Fitmi
CEI 2020 is the 34th Caretakers of the Environment International Conference. CEI 2020 was organized by schools involved in Jaringan Sekolah Alam Nusantara or JSAN (Indonesia Nature School Network) and Pandu Pertiwi, a national network of educators who has passion in environmental education and education for sustainable development.
From 27th September – 3rd October, CEI Indonesia and the CEI Alumni supported by the CEI Board and many sponsors hosted the 34th Annual CEI conference which in 2020 was, for the first time in history, fully virtual. We welcomed 225 participants from 17 countries and 42 schools. Despite crossing various time zones, participants got up early, stayed up late or rearranged classes to take part in the busy programme. Participants across the globe presented and discussed activities they are undertaking in their local area following the Caretaker credo of “act local, think global”.
Participants highlighted some main elements of the programme that they enjoyed which included:
As always, students presented environmental projects they have been working on all year. These topics ranged far and wide but all centred around the conference theme of “Transformation to a Sustainable Planet”. Students got the experience of presenting to their peers and discussing online.
Other students worked hard to brainstorm for a project to work on in the coming year which centres around the sustainable development goals. They worked on integrating these goals into their projects, reaching out to community partners and collaborating with other schools.
Some students teamed up across the globe to undertake an environmental project in just 48 hours. Projects included: surveys, short films, creating awareness through social media, creating sustainability games, scientific experiments and more! Students worked together to accomplish some truly remarkable activities which they will continue for the next year.
All participants enjoyed hands-on interactive workshops that included creating their own art, memes, eco-raps, sustainable cosmetics or exploring their local area through photography. Other participants learned how to become an Environmental Influencer on social media, recorded their own podcast and learned how to speak Indonesian. In smaller groups, participants approached sustainability from various perspectives and presented their workshop outcomes to the entire conference.
Social sustainability and cultural activities
From a quiz on the Sustainable Development Goals to the Great CEI BakeOff, students learned while having fun in new and innovative ways during the conference. A huge favourite was the virtual “Cultural Performance” where each country submitted a 3minute video highlighting culture in their country. We had singing, dancing, poetry and art from across the globe and students loved to learn about other cultures in this way.
Students and teachers alike showed us how we can work together on the “Transformation to a Sustainable Planet” (the conference theme) and the team of organisers showed CEI and the world just how educational, fun and interactive an international online conference can be!
To learn more about the conference and how you can get involved and please check out the blog posts and forum of the Alumni website (alumnicei.org) and the Global Forum magazine (link later)