BLOG: The Meeting Day (Let's do it! Asian conference 2012)

The Meeting Day, 10th of november
by Taisto Uuslail

Today we started with the funny permaculture music video “No such thing as waste”.
That's how it is! There are only things in wrong places...

we were having so many interesting speakers and doers from many countries, we continued with presentations.

First, “Zero Waste” by Nima Tashi Bhutia – has been related to the project for more than 3 years. Life without the waste. One option in mountains (implemented in Sikkim area) - entering the trek, items in the bag are counted. On the way back, the bag will be checked again – there should be a same amount of items (bottles, wraps, etc). If not, the fine (50€) will be asked or people are asked to find a same amount of trash from the trek. If traveller will bring more trash to the base camp, he will get a rewarded! In the base there are 7 waste bins (plastics, paper, etc) and travelers will get rid of their trash. ZW then segregates the trash by 23 categories (different colors of plastic, bottles, paper etc) and sends it straight to the recycling companies or producers. Analyzing the trash they also find reasons, why there is more one kind of trash than other and will try to find a solution to this problem. There was weird coincident – they wanted to have clean villages – therefore cows were taken far away - no milk, so tetra packs sneaked in. Only solution – to bring cows back to the village! :-) The system is working very well.

“The power of Media to help environmental and community efforts“ by Lisa Christensen – The media has a huge power. It's good to have some local celebrities on board to strenghten your message. Hong Kong is cooperating with many magazines, TV programs, media channels. It helps to reach people. Every year on June 5th there is a press conference. The Hong Kong Ecovision's commercials are made both in English and Chinese. A new baby was born – an online webpage “Ecozine”. Future plans: turn the focus to social media campaigns – have to hire a social media specialist. /

“An overview on present waste management scenario in the tourist areas of Nepal by NATTA representatives” by Achyt Guragain – In Nepal the situation is not good. It's not clean, it's not hygiene. As the tourism is one of the important incomes in Nepal, we have to change the situation. Tourists want healthy and fun holiday, not to worry about health issues. In mountains and on the rivers there are a lot of trash. People need to be more educated on this issue.

“Green future; Role of social movement in a balanced policy space” by Ajaya Dixit – the climate changes in future are bringing challenges that will require us to mitigate the problems, adapt to them or cope with them. The communities will need a lot of flexibility and resilience. Those who will be able to take up new strategies will adapt easier. The question arose will we be better of in terms of waste after the climate change or not.  

Pakistan “Green Mind” by Ahmed Farooq. New ideas, new challenges. In universities, planning to go to other cities as well. Ask resources for cleaning (ticketing, food, etc for cleaning).

Singapore came out with topic “Waste Management Issues and 3 step education project in schools”. Alvin Chia is young environmental activist, who has gathered already group of students who are fully committed as this is a part of their schoolwork. The idea is to target the root problems of waste in city environment. To catch it in the consumer-minded state already. Everyone, who has been to Singapore knows that this is the cleanest Asian city. But this is because the government has put great effort into cleaning the city-environment daily. There are approximately 10 cleaners for every block of the town. The waste is burned and then landfilled to create more land-massive in the sea as this is quite small island. So after Singapore succeeds, it can be the cleanest and most environmental-friendly city in the world.

“World cafe” session
This is the method of brainstorming in very efficient way – there are important boosting questions, which are set up for the equal groups (4-5 persons). All participants are spreading their creativity and after 3 sessions teams are focusing their goal statements. This time we had a question: “How can LDIW be successful in South-East Asia?”
Teams came out with very effective and practical statements to continue with really working LDIW or any other cleanup project right away.
We faced also the cultural differences between west and east, thus Asia has to find the way to create it's own solution to fit it best into the context.

After the break we had presentation by Antoine El Hajj from Lebanon Let'sDoIt! Mediterranean cleanup, taking place in the autumn of 2013. The idea of the project is to clean up Mediterranean sea. So far there are 22 countries participating. Funded by several sources – donation systems etc to provide special machinery for the very complicated cleanup. The budget is huge as you could suppose ;o) There are huge pollution sections present as plastic waste, organic, marine waste a.s.o.

GreenActionNepal was introducing their future plans for 2013 – to repeat the 5th of June cleanup day. Already many national teams agreed to participate.

Future Strategies:
a. National cleanup and awareness campaigns – yearly, or more
frequently, if possible
b. Eco-tourism based on integrated programs with sustainable waste
management and environmental conservation
c. Cooperation and collaboration with government, I/NGOs and private
sector for promotion of green technologies and economy – pilot level

Proposed Joint Action Plan in Asia Region:
1. Develop long term joint programs in Asia Region
2. Conduct regular meetings and experience sharing events
3. Arrange clean up campaigns on June 5, 2013 – on national level
4, Knowledge management on the basis of best practices and lessons learned
5. Develop and conduct capacity building programs
6. Establish and strengthen networking among Let’s Do It movements in
Asian region countries
7. Resource generation and fund raising for the programs
8. Identify and develop demonstration sites in each country

Project management models – presentation of “Dragon Dreaming” by Nara Petrovič
Check out more -

At the end of the day we had communication games and celebration dance.


Read the previous blogs:
First day in Nepal (Opening Day, 8th of November) »
The Presentations Day, 9th of november »