Waste: The National Environment Commission celebrated World Environment Day yesterday in honour of the birth anniversary of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, the patron of the environment in the country.

Highlighting the sustainable development and consumption practice in line with the global theme for this year’s World Environment Day, “Seven Billion Dream, One Planet, Consume with Care”, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen launched various environmental projects and partnerships with different stakeholders in Thimphu.

An initiative to reduce paper usage in government offices, the E-launch of “Sustainability and Efficiency: Towards a paperless government” was held. The project aims to develop guidelines, which will facilitate offices to go paperless. The project is expected to not only help increase environmental sustainability but also help reduce costs.

Another initiative to institutionalise sustainable waste management in schools, “Youth Action on 4R’s club in Schools”, was also launched. A total of nine schools under Thimphu thromde will be forming clubs at their respective schools and carry out activities of segregation, re-use-recycling and other measures to curb waste generation.

The secretary of the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS), (Dr) Ugyen Tshewang said the commission wishes to introduce the concept of “Zero Waste”, and for that the commission has secured partnership with the International Environment Technology Centre of the United Nations and of the youth of different schools in the country.

(Dr) Ugyen Tshewang, also said that waste is an asset if treated and used in a desired manner. “We need to liberate waste through recycling and enterprise in transforming a challenge into an opportunity to create employment for the youth and other citizens,” he said.

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen also launched a demonstration project on holistic waste management towards a zero waste society. NECS will be formulating a national and city-level holistic waste management strategy that will outline the activities to be undertaken to achieve a sustainable and zero-waste Bhutan.

Under the project NECS will be conducting a pilot waste management project in one of the neighbourhoods of Thimphu city. The pilot project will involve conversion of waste into resources through composting, recycling, bio-digestion and other viable technologies. The project aims to demonstrate a community-based holistic waste management system and also reduce the pressure on existing landfills and dump sites.

The implementation of the project will commence from July 2015 and will be completed in May 2016.

An exhibition competition on waste management was also held with the theme “young innovative minds in waste management”. A total of six schools took part in the competition showcasing their innovative creations using waste materials.

Yangchenphug higher secondary school bagged the first prize in the competition. Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen presented the prizes and certificates to the winning schools.

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graces World Environment Day celebrations

Representatives from the dratshang, cabinet, opposition, armed forces, government, civil society organisations and private sector, offered birthday wishes to Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen for Her Majesty’s Birth Anniversary, at the Lingkana palace yesterday.

Later, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graced the celebration of the World Environment Day yesterday. Coinciding with Her Majesty’s birthday, June 4 is celebrated in Bhutan as the World Environment Day in honour of Her Majesty’s guidance and initiatives in environment protection.

In line with this year’s theme ‘Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet, Consume With Care,’ that expresses the concept of Sustainable Development and Consumption, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen launched the ‘Youth Action on 4R’s club in Schools’, ‘Sustainability and Efficiency: Towards Paperless Government’, and Demonstration Project on Holistic Waste Management: Towards a Zero Waste Society.’

The wives of the armed force personnel presented a flower exhibition in the palace grounds for the occasion.

Thimphu Schools exhibited their creative products made from waste materials for a competition. Her Majesty awarded prizes to the winners of the Waste Exhibition Competition.

By Younten Tshedup