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

The Presentations Day, 9th of november
by Taisto Uuslail

So we moved! To another room, which pulled us more together – physically and also emotionally. Starting at 8:30am – there were 4 people in the room at this very moment ;o) But this is the Nepali style – just like in South-Europe or in South-Estonia - “Aigu om!” (no rush!)

We started rightaway with presentations as this was announced the presentations day of the conference. It doesn't mean we don't have them on other days, but we had them many today.

Rabindra Kumar Rai, the Senior Engineer Chief of Solid Waste management Section of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office was giving us hint about the governmental side of the waste management. The mechanism of everyday waste collection and the overview of the landfills around Kathmandu valley. Locals are pretty much growing into unsatisfaction with the actions of the government.

“Impact of Climate Change in the Himalayas and Mountain Waste Management” was the concern of Ang Tshering Sherpa from Nepal, Founder Chairman in Asian Trekking Ltd and honorary member of UIAA-World Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. He gave us very good overview of Himalayas. And at the same he gave a good overview about the real situation of waste pollution on the treks in mountains and the problems with glacier-lakes caused long-termly by climate change. These very big waterbeds are serious trouble when occasionally set free, causing tsunamis in valleys where all the villagers live. He pointed on the dangers of human waste on altitude above the base-camps, where it doesn't decompose, and it'is very hard to clean it up.  That can cause the pollution of groundwater. Also about cleaning project as Eco Everest Expedition 2008 by climbing specialist, local guides, etc.

Ecovision Asia, founded by Lisa Christensen, committed canadian lady living mostly in Hong Kong, is handling the coastal and city and cleaning projects. She notified that Hong Kong is not only city, it's also national parks and coast sides, which unfortunately have been very dirty. 83% of coastal waste comes from land-based activities. To harmonize all the non-harmonious part there have been created the coastal cleanups, also cleanups in city parks. Every day, more than 10,000 contracted workers manually sweep and remove copious amounts of litter and trash from city streets. Education through media, companies, schools and NGO's is one of the goals of Ecovision. Hands-on experience through participation is the key to better understanding of the problem of littering and debris. / – the new green media outlet

Presenter from WEPCO had a talk about documentary from medical field. Sharing the disposal of syringes. Also how hospitals are destroying surgery waste – human body pieces.

Country presentations:

Slovenian overview of Let'sDoIt cleanup in 2012 by Nara Petrovič. The main thing about Slovenian campaign is the Team Spirit – be bigger than you are, stand aside if somebody wants to input more energy than you. Approximately 300.000 people (13% of population) cleaning up the country in one day! Let'sDoIt campaign is about joy, having fun!

Bangladesh is facing similar problems as many countries during the Let'sDoIt movement actions. M.M. Mahbub Hasan from Coastal Development Partnership and Let'sDoIt! Bangladesh was sharing experience through the projects Campaign 2009 and Countdown2Copenhagen 2009 Since 2012 the campaigns in Bangladesh are switched into Let'sDoItWorld movement.

The Netherlands - Annette Dölle – Keep It Clean Day
Being a western European country with high taxes and good organization doesn't mean that you can be lazy and accept. Change starts with the people, so joining LDIW was important to raise awareness about the topic. KICD created a plan according to their own culture - a combination of freedom with unity. Using also the strength of local companies, with win-win situations. The interactive online program with world-participants in that process was great!

India – Maihursa Boro from Alexis Society talked about Indian clean-ups in different locations. They are especially contcentrated on educating young people and students. Most of the clean-ups have been organized by universities and students. Plans for 2013 are huge – to engage most of the regions of India to LDIW!

Jérôme Edou from Base Camp Trekking and Expeditions has been cooperating with US Embassy in Nepal in the cleanup day, 5th of June 2012. They have very strict solutions – Plastic (Bags & Bottles) Freemalaya! A campaign to end the use of plastic bottles and bags in all trekking areas of Nepal’s Himalaya. Just by not allowing them in the area. Let’s put Nepal Himalayas on the map as a Plastic Bottle Free Zone!

Afternoon sessions:

Held by Nara Petrovič (Slovenia) and in cooperation by Annette Dölle (Holland) and Prabal Raj Pakhrel (GreenActionNepal).

Nara's idea was to make it practical – half a group had an assignment to create the Nepal CleanUp Campaign in few minutes. It was about sensing group behaviour in the situation when there is no chosen leader. The result was media presentation from 4 smaller groups about the cleanup in one day in Nepal.

Annette and Prabal mixed brainstorming and practical communication techniques to discuss the relation between Individuality and Social Community. We started with everyone's personal wish, and the 'tipping point' that changed our own behavior. Then shared personal experiences in a circle. During sharing we were paying attention to the body language - looked at the synchronicity between body and words. In a closing circle, at the end of the workshop, we all committed to a next concrete step when we'll get home. Sharing the concrete step in the circle created strong individual commitment combined with a good collective energy.

In late afternoon we visited Swyambhunath Stupa - “the monkey temple” in the west-north part of Kathmandu City. Climbing on steps, honoring buddhist temple, visiting museums, small monasteries – all this gave a spiritual touch of the Nepali culture: Om Mani Padme Hum – “there is a chrystal in our hearts”.

In the evening we shared local food dinner with cultural program in Nepali Chulo authentic Nepali & Newari Restaurant in Kathmandu.

Happy energy and willpower to Do It!

Read the previous blog: First day in Nepal (Opening Day, 8th of November) »

Read the next blog: The Meeting Day, 10th of November »