Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi.
CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.
We believe that the scenario today demands using knowledge to bring about change. This is what we aim to do.
The challenge, as we see it, is two-pronged. On one hand, millions live within a biomass-based subsistence economy at the margins of survival. The environment is their only natural asset. But a degraded environment means stress on land, water and forest resources for survival. It means increasing destitution and poverty. Here, the opportunity to bring about change is enormous. But it will need a commitment to reform in the way we do business with local communities.
On the other hand, rapid industrialisation is throwing up new problems: growing toxification and a costly disease burden. The answers will be in reinventing the growth model of the Western world for ourselves, so that we can leapfrog technology choices and find new ways of building wealth that will not cost us the earth.
This is the challenge of the balance.
Our aim is to raise these concerns, participate in seeking answers and – more importantly – in pushing for answers and transforming these into policy and so, practice. We do this through our research and by communicating our understanding through our publications.
We call this knowledge-based activism. We hope we will make a difference.
Our efforts are built around five broad programmes:
CSE’s publications and informational products have been its strength and they have always combined research and readability to get the message across.
CSE’s tools for awareness raising are periodicals, publications, films/short spots, briefing papers, exhibitions, posters and other products. CSE’s informational products reach people in more diverse ways such as features
service, website and e-news bulletins.
CSE’s efforts are specifically designed to create awareness about problems and propose sustainable solutions. Research at CSE often consists of in-depth learning about an environmental problem and then finding answers in accordance
with CSE’s core values.
There is a growing interest amongst professionals, public administrators, private sector executives NGO professionals, students and others in environmental issues. With this in mind, CSE, has for some years, been developing programmes in
the area on non-formal environmental education programmes.
The overall aim is to develop into an excellent resource centre with information -- printed and visual -- on sustainable development issues, which is possibly the best in India. For a knowledge-based organisation like CSE, information
collection is the basic foundation for all its research and advocacy activities.
CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory is an independent, analytical laboratory that monitors toxic contamination of the environment and uses the results of this monitoring to advocate for improved regulation of the use of toxins in
Anil Kumar Agarwal was the founder-director of the Centre for Science and Environment, India’s leading environmental NGO. Agarwal spent his lifetime advocating policies that involve the people in natural resource management and learn from India’s own traditions.
Sunita Narain has been with Centre for Science and Environment since 1982, and has headed it since 2000. Her research interests range from global democracy with a focus on climate change, to the need for local democracy where she has worked on forest-related resource management, water and waste issues. Ms Narain serves on the boards of different organisations, and writes and speaks regularly on key concerns of environment and development.