Waste Smart Museum Launched in Chitwan National Park
Chitwan, Nepal - Chitwan National Park—Nepal’s only Plastic Free National Park—in coordination with WWF Nepal and CREASION, launched a ‘Waste Smart Museum’ retrofitted with waste segregation dustbins, bottle crushers, informational posters, and an LED screen projecting conservation facts and figures. The project ‘Empowering Youth Towards a Zero Waste National Park’ was implemented as a catalyst to facilitate effective waste management, sustainable eco-tourism, and increased community engagement, specifically youth, by educating and empowering the next generation.
The waste smart museum is an innovative model designed for visitors and locals to contemplate the waste generated, by providing a conscious outlook towards conservation and source segregation of waste. The installation of a museum is a step towards bridging the gap of knowledge at a grassroots level.
The museum is expected to facilitate the collection and management of 1000 kgs of waste within a period of 10 months for recycling purposes. The initiative is an effort to inculcate behavioral changes in people by actively engaging children and youth in waste management. The project has been able to reach 100 youth and 200 children through five waste-smart eco clubs in schools of Kasara and Sauraha, zero waste trainings, and clean up campaigns. All these activities align with the protection of wildlife and biodiversity from human activities particularly the haphazard disposal of waste. The waste smart museum was handed over to the Chitwan National Park in an event organized in Sauraha today.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Ana Nath Baral, Chief Conservation Officer, Chitwan National Park said "Waste and pollution is the biggest issue faced by humankind today, and one that we have yet to find a permanent solution for. This waste museum is a step in the right direction, introducing innovative solutions to practical problems. While the first step has been taken, we have faith that the younger generation, the generation that is more aware, will take this on with stride."
The waste museum is the first of its kind in Nepal and is a pilot model replicable and scalable in other national parks, especially in the mountains where plastic is increasingly becoming a problem.