Environmental professionals, policy experts and students from colleges and universities throughout Nepal examined regional environmental challenges and new approaches to protecting the environment at a June 4 workshop in Kathmandu in commemoration of the UN World Environment Day 2011. The Workshop on Youth Empowerment for Environment Integrity was organized by the Global Peace Association (GPA) Nepal, the Himalayan Alliance for Climate Change (HIMCCA) and Service for Peace (SFP).
Dr. Kishor Kumar Rajbhandari, President of GPA Nepal, chaired the workshop and began the proceedings by explaining the significance of World Environment Day. He then presented an overview of current environmental issues in Kathmandu, and suggested some simple preventive measures, such as proper composting and household waste management, to address short-term problems.
Dr. Jaya Kumar Gurung, Executive Director of HIMCCA, also addressed the participants on environmental issues affecting the Himalayan region. Mr. Sudeep Thakuri, an environmental researcher, then explained the importance of team work, effective communication, and rapport-building to secure community support for environmental objectives.
What is World Environment Day? World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere. The celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. Through WED, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development WED is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations. Everyone counts in this initiative and WED relies on you to make this happen! We call for action – organize a neighborhood clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same, plant a tree or better yet organize a collective tree planting effort, walk to work, start a recycling drive . . . the possibilities are endless. SOURCE: UNEP
The Global Peace Youth Corps (GPYC) Nepal, a youth wing of the GPA, and UN Volunteers (UNV) Nepal commemorated the World Environment Day 2011 with an educational and awareness program with the motto “My Family, My Society, My Nation, My Planet is My Responsibility: One World One Family.” Chaired by Mr. Dhurba Lamichhane, President of GPYC Nepal, the program drew 130 participants from 27 different institutions. The Chief Guest, Dr. Sumitra Amatya, the General Manager of Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilization Centre and a Ministry of Local Development official, inaugurated the program with tree planting involving the program participants.
On June 5, the actual UN-designated World Environment Day, 200 volunteers in 70 teams, comprising of graduate students and Global Peace Volunteers, were mobilized in 70 different high schools and colleges in Kathmandu valley, bringing environmental awareness and promoting best practices in environmental management to secondary school students. The teams visited grades 6-10, and explained about environmental problems such as climate change, solid waste and refuse, and water pollution, and also mitigation measures that can be initiated by individuals or households.
The team presented on the possible use of vermicomposting for managing organic wastes, trapping rain water for domestic use, promoting the use of septic tanks instead of directly connecting to sewer-lines empty into rivers, avoiding the use of plastics in school, and saving the energy through various conservation measures.
In the Mid-Western Region of Nepal, Surkhet, students and teachers at Jana-Higher-Secondary-School-Birendranagar participated in the tree planting in observance of the World Environment Day, sponsored by GPA Surkhet Branch.
On the June 6, the River of Peace Campaign, an initiative of the GPFF, in partnership with the Initiative for Original Nobility and High Power Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilisation, organized a seminar on environmental issues relating to the preservation of the Bagmati River. In addition to the seminar, 66 volunteers planted 150 trees opposite the Guheshwori Temple along the river bank at Gokarna-Pashupati section of the Bagmati in recognition of World Environment Day 2011.