Bringing together people from across diverse walks to make a case for the environment, NTNC-Central Zoo led the World Environment Day (WED 2019) celebrations yesterday on June 05 together with Lalitpur Metropolitan, IUCN Nepal, WWF Nepal, ZSL Nepal and BCN.
The finale event was organized at the Jawalakhel stadium opposite of the Central Zoo with over two thousand attendees. Comprising mostly of students and educators, public figures and celebrities, government authorities and bureaucrats and various other conservation and development stakeholders, the mass awareness programme was organized to build support for pro-environment measures.
First a 'green rally' led by young school students, teachers and environment enthusiasts started out early morning from the zoo premises, encircling Patan Durbar Square calling for environmental attention and civic response. Following this a solidarity function comprising of stage performances, speeches, along with conferring of prizes and awards for past activities conducted by the Central Zoo was undertaken.
Leading up to the main day celebrations, over the past week, the zoo organized a range of activities from mural making, to banner making and zoo model making competitions, aimed at empowering youth creativity and expression for the environment. More than fifty categories of prizes were distributed for previously completed activities and programmes initiated towards nature conservation and environmental action.
Chief Guest at the event, Littérateur century personality and culture expert Mr. Satya Mohan Joshi after handing over prizes and signing awards advocated "the need for developing future leadership that is mindful of longer-term consequences of decisions on the environment." Here he articulated the age-old Hindu principle of 'Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram' (loosely translating to Truth-Consciousness-Bliss) as being helpful to guide attitudes that keep future aspirations for prosperity in harmony with nature, art and culture. Deputy Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan Ms Gita Satyal who was also among the prominent guests expressed her vision for a plastic-free Lalitpur Metropolitan, along with the need to inculcate habits and policies that incentivize clean energy use like electric cars, while at the same time focusing on improving the environment education curriculum and capacity in classrooms.
Miss Nepal 2019 winners Anushka Shrestha (Miss Nepal World), Riya Basnet (Miss Nepal Earth) and Rose Lama (Miss Nepal Supranational) together administered the mass oath-taking pledge for a collective commitment to stand by and for nature. Friends of Zoo (FOZ) teacher's coordinator committee chairman Mr. Damodar Dahal shared about the power of collective complementarity through a proactive environment network of school students and teachers, parents and the larger public, facilitated by the Central Zoo, in developing conservation activism and in taking leadership and responsibility for the environment. Whereas welcome and closing messages at the event were made by NTNC's Programme Director, Ms. Sarita Gyawali and Central Zoo's Manager, Dr Chiranjibi P. Pokharel.
This year's WED 2019 is being observed around the world as a commitment to 'beat air pollution' taking stock of the exceeding levels of toxic air people breathe. Air quality burden on human life is worsening the world over, with Nepal accounting for an estimated 37,000+ deaths every year. This is all the more severe in the capital city of Kathmandu, where growing population and an increasing consumer-oriented society has given rise to unhealthy conditions and cause for fatal diseases.
Keeping in mind the environmental stresses, each year NTNC-Central Zoo is committed to enliven the discourse that builds consensus and resolution. Following the main day event, on Saturday June 07, NTNC-Central Zoo will undertake a 'Know your Biodiversity' programme in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. The event will be held in parallel with a cycle rally organized by the Ministry of Forests and Environment on the same day. Following this will also be a bird watching event on June 08 in Ranibari Community Forest in which Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) will be taking lead.