Monday, 25 April 2011 20:46

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak

In India over 700 million people in 122 million households have no toilets, about eight million bucket toilets are cleaned by half a million “scavengers’. This has led to atmospheric pollution, health hazards and a class of people who clean up the excreta of others.

To address this situation, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a social worker, environmentalist and Founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, developed the technology of a twin-pit, pour-flush toilet known as Sulabh Shauchalaya, of which over one million have been constructed. This environment friendly technology provides on-site disposal with no smell and soil pollution, and it conserves water.

Through this development, there has been a massive change in the attitude and behaviour of people towards sanitation. Indians now readily pay charges in 6,000 Sulabh public toilets.

Biogas production from human excreta in 120 public toilets and its various uses, e.g. lighting, cooking, etc and the use of effluent as rich fertilizer is one of his hallmark contributions. To the biogas plant is attached the Sulabh effluent as rich fertilizer is one of his hallmark contributions. To the biogas plant is attached the Sulabh effluent treatment plant, whereby water discharged is made colourless, odourless and pathogen free, fit for reuse in agriculture, pisciculture, or cleaning of public toilet or discharge into any water-body, promoting a better and healthier environment. In both the technologies, there is production of organic nutrient-rich fertilizer and reuse and recycling of waste matter.

In 1996, Pathak’s Sulabh Sanitation System was recognized as Global Urban Best Practice by UN-Habitat at IstanbulTurkey and in 2000 he received the Dubai International Award for Best Practices. The UNEP awarded Dr. Pathak with Global 500 Roll of Honour in 2003. The UN-Habitat has given Scroll of Honour Award in 2003 to Dr. Pathak.

Monday, 25 April 2011 17:56

Serge M. Antoine

Serge M. Antoine

Very few people in France, or in the Mediterranean region, have devoted as much imagination, energy and intelligence to the cause of the environment as Serge Antoine.

As early as the 1950's, he saw the need for a better distribution of activities, which would protect natural areas in France. His actions led to two major decisions: the adoption of a new form of regional planning and the setting up of the "Parcs Naturels Regionaux" - similar to biosphere reserves.

He played a major role in the creation of the Ministry of Environment and was Secretary-General of the High Committee for Environment. He took an active part in the preparations for the Stockholm Conference and in the creation of UNEP. He was instrumental in negotiating the 1976 Barcelona Convention for the Mediterranean and launched the idea of a study of the region, which became the Blue Plan.

In 1996, he advocated the setting up of a Mediterranean Commission for Environment and Development. He promoted the creation of the "Conservation du Littoral" -- a national network of hiking trails and he founded the C.N. Ledoux Institute for future studies.

He is on the Editorial Board of the World Resources Institute and the Seydoux Foundation for the Mediterranean. From 1982-1985, he was chairman of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) National Committee of France and has been vice-chairman of the Blue Plan since 1985.

He is an officer of the Legion of Honour (1994), Commander of the Order of Merit and a recipient of the Mediterranean Gold Medal (1997).

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