Center for Science and Environment CSE

Linked with Sunita Narain – India, with Time to tell the truth … , with Bt fails in China, with ECONOMYWATCH, and with the publication Down to Earth.

The Centre for Science and Environment was started in 1980 by a group of engineers, scientists, journalists and environmentalists to catalyse the growth of public awareness on vital issues in science, technology, environment and development.

Today, Centre for Science and Environment is considered one of India’s leading environmental NGOs specialising in sustainable natural resource management. Its strategy of knowledge-based activism has won it wide respect and admiration for its quality of campaigns, research and publications. CSE promotes solutions for India’s numerous environmental threats – of ‘ecological poverty’ and extensive land degradation on one hand, and rapidly growing toxic degradation of uncontrolled industrialisation and economic growth on the other.

CSE’s role is to help India create a sustainable society even in the worst of circumstances, marked by poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and population growth.

CSE’s organisational culture is built around an information-knowledge-wisdom chain that helps make people aware of the emerging problems and helps in building constituencies. CSE identifies solutions (intellectual leadership) and then pushes for change through lobbying with politicians and bureaucrats. CSE’s educational and training programmes are knowledge investments that seek to build capacities of managers and future leaders.

The Centre’s efforts are built around five broad activities:

  • Communication for Awareness
  • Research and Advocacy
  • Education and Training
  • Documentation
  • Pollution Monitoring

CSE needs your help to create a nation-wide database of Urban Rainwater Harvesting structures and practitioners, which can be accessed by all online. (See on their Homepage).
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi. India – 110062
Tel: +91-11 29955124; 29956110; 29956394
Fax: +91-11 29955879

See more on timeline ff;

Anil Agarwal (1947-2002), founder;


The award has been given to CSE for its efforts to build a new paradigm of water management, which uses the traditional wisdom of rainwater harvesting and advocates the role of communities in managing their local water systems. In its citation, the Nominating Committee lauded CSE, under the leadership of Ms. Narain, “For a successful recovery of old and generation of new knowledge on water management, a community-based sustainable integrated resource management under gender equity, a courageous stand against undemocratic, top-down bureaucratic resource control, an efficient use of a free press, and an independent judiciary to meet these goals.” (See all on this page of

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