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14 Jun 2016 | News

World Environment Day 2016

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The WED 2016 campaign aims to raise awareness of the far-reaching nature of wildlife crime. The slogan for this year’s WED is ‘Go Wild for Life’. It seeks to encourage people to change their habits to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products and to do what they can to stop the trade. Our activities have contributed towards this goal to some extent.

The message from the Director General  and a featured article by Rajan Kotru, which was disseminated through news portals, have shed light on ICIMOD’s stand on and commitment to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day.

This year ICIMOD focused on raising awareness of environmental issues among school children. Students from three schools – Samata Sikshya Niketan, Jorpati; Vajra Academy, Lalitpur; and Jana Bikash School, Lalitpur – were invited to a tree plantation programme in Godavari Lalitpur on 3 June 2016. The event was organized in collaboration with Patale Muldole community forest users’ group. Seventy-six students as well as teachers, members of the forest users group, and ICIMOD staff participated in the programme.

Participants of the Tree Plantation Programme
Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

The participants also joined a cleaning campaign in the forest, which is also a popular picnic spot. The chairman of the forest users group, Gokarna Puri, thanked ICIMOD and the students for organizing the cleaning campaign and requested ICIMOD to regularly organize such programmes in the future.

The students from all three schools later participated in an art competition with two themes –  ‘Go Green’ and ‘Conserving Wildlife’. For each theme, the top three submissions were awarded a cash prize of NPR 5,000 (first), NPR 3,000 (second), and NPR 2,000 (third). Sumana Shrestha and Niraj Lama, both from Samata Shiksha Sadan, won first prize in each of the two themes respectively.

Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

In Afghanistan, the ICIMOD country office in Kabul celebrated World Environment Day by organizing a seminar in collaboration with national and international partners based in Kabul, including the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA), Wildlife Conservation Society, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In India, Eco Concept celebrated World Environment Day by organizing experimental learning events involving over 4,000 students from 4 schools from Guwahati. In connection with the theme for this year ‘Fight against the illegal trade in wildlife’, Eco Concept conducted a two-day field learning event with students from four schools (South Point, Axel Public School, Royal Global School, and Parijat Academy) at Kaziranga National Park, Assam, on 28-29 May with support from ICIMOD. The event gave students an opportunity to learn why there is a large number of rhino deaths despite Kaziranga being a protected site, as well as threats to other wildlife species such as Royal Bengal tigers, elephants, turtles, and apes. As part of the programme, the participants from Axel Public School did a survey of their surroundings and realized that their school falls right in the middle of an elephant corridor as the school is located between two hills. At night elephants looking for exit routes stop in front of the school’s boundary wall, which is covered with barbed wire. After consultation with several people, the students have decided to plant banana trees along the school’s boundary. The plants will show the elephants the exit route to the other hill and reduce conflict. It is expected that the elephants will feed on the banana plants and in due course find the route to the other hill from the rear end of the school’s boundary.

Photo: Eco Concept, India

In Nepal, ICIMOD supported a weeklong programme organized by the Nature and Social Concern Society (NSCS) under the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Kathmandu University. The programme included a seminar focusing on the importance of wildlife conservation, a cycle rally, musical events, an arts and crafts exhibition, and a film festival. Sushil Pandey, ICT Specialist at ICIMOD, delivered the inaugural speech at the opening ceremony of the programme.

In Pakistan, the ICIMOD country office in Islamabad organized a seminar on ‘Zero Tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade’ in Sakardu in collaboration with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Australian High Commission,Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP),World Wildlife Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-P),International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),Mountain Areas Farmer Support Organization (MAFSO), and local communities.

Chief guest along with guests of honour, Pakistan

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