On 28th of February, Sambhawana organized one day workshop in Kathmandu under the project Green Youth Citizens on the theme “Young People in Green activism”. 35 youth from different age group and background came together in one common platform to share their green ideas and actions and to have a conversation with some of the well-known green activists and fellow youth in the country.
The gathering began with some warm sessions that allowed participants to know each other and have a little fun. Ms. Anita Thapa, the project leader explained about Green Youth Citizens, its objectives, activities and how young people can be a part of this project and take local initiatives. She explained, it is an innovative youth project proposed to create a transnational network between Europe and Asia. The project is implemented by six partners countries Romania, Spain, Turkey, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The project targets youth from the age group of 18-25 with fewer opportunities, youth who are willing to be actively involved in community life. The main aim of the project is to raise awareness about environmental problems and how we confine ourselves in the exercise of an active citizenship and to create an open platform for dialogue and mutual comprehension regarding environmental issues,
The first session began with a brainstorming/issues mapping among the participants where all the participants contributed different environment related issues as they see in their communities. Some of the issues were: need of environmental friendly education, haphazard urbanization, Scarcity of water resources, decreasing underground water level, bio-medical waste management, human behavior, air water and land pollution, lack of implementation of policy in waste management, Lack of Knowledge of 4R- Reuse , Reduce, Recycle, refuse, lack of green vegetation, habitat destruction, health problem created due to environmental degradation.
Based on the issues identified, participants were divided into four groups where they picked one issues that they would like to work in their community given the resources and support from Sambhawana and other stakeholders. The first issue was human attitude and lack of self-awareness and suggested solutions are knowledge and strict policies and guidelines regarding environment, media’s role, effective education on 4R (Reuse, Recycle, Reduce and Refuse), self-initiation. The second issue was changing human behavior and suggested solution is to focus on traditional farming, avoid packed foods, supply of clean drinking water to discourage sells of packed mineral water whereas third issue was health problem created from polluted environment and possible solutions were development work should be environment friendly, awareness and more awareness, positive and good practices. Finally, the fourth group chose deforestation as their issues and they think the reasons behind massive deforestation are constructions, source of energy and suggested that there should be restriction to enter the forests and strict rules should be implemented and awareness about deforestation and forestation is must.
The final session began where the participants did a presentation in the plenary which was followed by panel discussion. Mr. Sailendra Dangol, a well-known green activist and cyclist started off on how he got into green activism and what inspired him. He shared he has been using cycle since half a decade and has been advocating for cycle lane in different cities. He and his team have a vision to make cycle friendly city in Kathmandu by 2020 AD. Another guest Mr. Angel Chitrakar, Senior Program Officer of Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) shared his experiences about different projects and programs that ECCA runs, he shared how they are focusing on schools for the promotion and protection of green environment. Furthermore, he said how ECCA is promoting alternative energy technologies. The panel presentation was followed by questions and answers. In a conclusion, Sambhawana team thanked everyone and shared there will be followed up meet in coming days. All in all, a very productive day well spent with amazing young people from different communities.