Groups meet for 2011 Zero Waste Himalaya Regional Workshop

May 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Capacity Development, Environment, Events, Government Policies, India, Urbanization, Waste

Over centuries, pilgrims and explorers have been visiting the mountains and their numbers were few and the Himalayan ecosystem, fragile as it is, was able to cope with the effects of human exploration in the areas. But today, with improved network, there is a tremendous increase in the numbers of people visiting the Himalayan states. With the increase in the number of visitors, there has been a rapid increase in the solid waste which has become a major problem. Efforts are being made by Government and various groups, individuals which remain insufficient.

The two day regional workshop towards Zero Waste Himalaya’s organized by Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee jointly with Rural Management and Development Department, Government of Sikkim with support from Thanal, Global greengrant fund, Centre for Environment Education under Parivariyan Mitra program brought participants from across the Himalayan states together at chumbi on 17-18th May 2011 to discuss on the growing solid waste issue. The first day session were chaired by Hon’ble Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Cooperation, Hon’ble MP, Lok Sabha along with Jayakumar, Director Thanal and Ajeer Vidya , Deer Park Institute, Himachal.

The workshop at Chumbi was part of the Zero Waste Himalaya conference held at Bir, Himachal during August 2010. Hence the two day workshop began with the sharing of the first zero waste conference by Deer Park Institute, Himachal and were build on the previous initiatives. The program which was mainly designed for Government authorities, Institutes and NGOs involved in waste management in the Himalayan state received a good number of participants from Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Bhutan, Darjeeling, Combodia, Thiland, Lhadak, Deer Park Institute of Himachal and Sikkim along with resource person from Thanal, Kerela. A total of more than 50 participants participated in the workshop.

The workshop primarily aimed to create learning and sharing platform of good practices and waste management issues from across the Himalayan states. It also focused on inculcating the principle of zero waste among the participants. Each participant shared their story from the respective state and highlighted the current good practices on waste management including challenges, gaps and opportunities. All presenters indicated the increase in solid waste over last few decades and reflected on the key issues.

The first day witnessed the presentation on current waste management practices from different state across the Himalayas. In addition the hon’ble Mayor, GMC and Chief Municipal Officer also briefed the participants on their currents efforts toward waste management. The second day was followed with stories on few good practices from Sikkim. The current waste management practices of United Arithang Development Society, the soild, liquid waste management of RMDD under BDO Yangang and the zero waste trail projects of KCC, TMI and KNP were shared as some good practices with the participants. The post noon session of the first day was than chaired by Hon’ble MP, Lok Sabha, Shri PD Rai who said that waste is an important issues which is being discussed and debated a lot, while addressing the gathering he stated that the waste should not be looked or termed as waste it should be called a resource or even a better terminology. He also interacted with all the participants for 20 minutes after his address.

Mr. Shibu and Jaykumar from Thanal talked about the principal, concept and components of zero waste including National and international legal frameworks with global perspectives.

An exhibition was also organized in the other room where products made from waste materials were displayed and sold. The plastic products produced by Sanjeevni SHG of Ribdi, cloth bags, banners and mats made by zero waste – Yuksam and the products from Deer Park Institute, Himachal were put on the display room.

The concluding session on the second day was chaired by the Chief Engineer, Rural Management and Development Department, Govt. of Sikkim. The post noon session of the second day has as group discussion as to what next and after long discussion the houses came up with some important action points. The important issues were raised about the networking, sharing of stories, best practices on waste management from across the Himalaya using a electronic means like e-group, blogs and website. Similarly all participants also agreed to come up with their state specific plans which would be shared with all at the Zero Waste Himalaya network.

Any interested group or individual willing to be members of the zero waste Himalayas or even therefore a friend of the Himalayan can sent a mail to ntbhutia (at) or shibuknair(at) (moderators of the e-group). Source>>


Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

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