GPF Nepal Draws Connections Between Faith, Family and Conservation during 2014 Environmental Week

Eric Olsen
July 14, 2014
Global Peace Foundation volunteers clean Guheshwori Peace Park.

Volunteers clean Guheshwori Peace Park.

The Global Peace Foundation and Global Peace Women Nepal partnered to host a week of programs, educational seminars and clean-up projects to preserve clean water sources in recognition of UN Environmental Day for 2014. At the opening ceremony of the week, Dr. Bishnu Dahal, Executive Director of Nepal Sanskrit University Research Center observed, “Water is our life and the responsibility of water conservation is also within our hand.”

Around the world events converged around the 2014 Environmental Day theme: “Raise your voice, not the sea level,” focusing on the world’s waterways, oceans and seas. Established in 1973, Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5. The United Nations Environment Programme issues a new theme annually to rally individual and national efforts.

Nepal Environment Week Partners:  

High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of The Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC)
Microbiological Research Organization Nepal (MiRON),
Sano Prayash–Nepal,
Environmental Law Committee, 
Nepal Bar Association,
Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD), 
National Youth Federation Nepal (NYFN)
Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), 
Solid Waste Management Technical Support Center (SWMTSC),  
Society for Climate Change Study Nepal,  
Youth Advocacy Nepal/ Human Right,
Peace Promotion on Youth Nepal 

Environment Week programs included a water ceremony, an Environmental Day peace march, a mass clean-up of the Bagmati River and an opening and closing ceremony to recognize volunteers and sponsors. The events fostered a sense of stewardship towards the environment. “We are a part of our mother nature,” said Mr. Rishi Ram Regmi, Associate Professor of Balmiki Campus. “We must respect the nature and protect it with the feeling of ‘what you give me, I will return them to you.’ ” The events surrounding Environmental Week brought together twelve partnering organizations and involved over 2,500 participants.

A unique session hosted by GPF and GPW Nepal on June 1 drew connections between family, religion and environmental preservation, which requires a united effort of many individuals. “Money cannot always make things work out, we have to step forward and take initiative,” Mr. Rajkumar Bhattarai, President of Advertising Agency Nepal, observed. “Unity is our biggest strength, and this is the best time to utilize this strength.” Ms.  Subin Limbu, Miss Nepal 2014, emphasized individual responsibility. “Initiation starts from individual level. It is our individual responsibility to protect the holiness that Bagmati River,” she said.

Bagmati River Festival Inauguration.

Bagmati River Festival Inauguration.

The workshop on rapid composting presented small, achievable changes in individual and household habits to improve waste management. One participant commented, “Family not only plays a role in peace building but also conserving the environment.”  Mr. Gyanendra Ratna Tuladhar, a participant reflected, “I was initially pessimistic whether the cleanliness program will turn out to be effective or not, but after seeing the enthusiasm of the people coming together and becoming a part of the campaign, my perspective has changed.”

GPF promotes personal responsibility and emphasizes humanity’s interconnection to nature and to one another. Preserving the earth is a natural extension of care for current and future generations. Ceremony at the sacred Bagmati River during Environmental Week.

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