Chimi Dema 

Lack of public awareness is identified as one of the barriers to achieving Zero Waste Bhutan by 2030 according to the National Waste Management Strategy 2019.

To bridge this gap, the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) will launch an educational material, ‘Ecology note: Towards a Clean, Green and Beautiful Bhutan’ on this World Environment Educational Day today.

The learning materials would impart environmental education to children in early stages of pre-primary to primary, and secondary schools with an emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling practices.

NECS secretary Sonam P Wangdi said that because of the lack of awareness, engaging educational institutions was crucial to bring a behavioural change towards successful waste management.

Recognising the importance of educating children on waste or resource management, Sonam P Wangdi said that the ecology note was integrated with the revised science curriculum of classes four to eight, which will come into effect from next year.

“It is expected to serve students in learning and acquiring specific skills pertaining to sound waste management and teachers to tailor their classrooms with clear goals,” he said.

Waste management division officials said that the ecology note provides a set of educational exercises that can assist teachers to guide the classroom discussions on waste management on a need basis. 

The booklet supports students’ understanding of sustainable waste and resource management through activities such as exploration, discussion, and presentation.

The teacher’s guide accompanying the booklet also provides procedures and tips to enhance the activities.

The officials said that the note also serves as supplementary material for primary school teachers introducing environmental education.

“It can also be used for informal and non-formal education activities as a material for children and adults to learn how to be an environment-friendly citizen,” an official said.

Meanwhile, the educational material was developed by the NECS in collaboration with IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET), the United Nations Environment Programme-International Environmental Technology Centre (UNEP IETC) and the Royal Education Council (REC) with the support from the governments of Japan and Bhutan

The booklet is also available on the websites of NECS, CCET and REC.