A Workshop on “Environment is our Concern!”

(November 29, 2010)

Pax Earth Nepal organized an environmental workshop on “Environment is our Concern!” for the students of grade 7 and 8 of Bal Byabasayee Kendra Secondary School, Sifal, Kathmandu, Nepal on Monday November 29, 2010 during 8.30am to 10.30am. The workshop was chaired by Principal Ram Hari Pudasaini. PEN Hon. Member Nilambar Badal coordinated the whole workshop. Vice Principal Bal Krishna Acharya was also present on the occasion.

In order to have icebreaking with students, Nilambar Badal introduced himself in an attractive way. Similarly, Principal Ram Hari Pudasaini, Vice Principal Bal Krishna Acharya, PEN President Sujan Koirala, Treasurer Bal Gopal Shrestha, Secretary Manohar Sapkota, Members Harihar Sapkota, Bijaya Thapa, Prem Shah and Binod P. Mainali introduced themselves. Then, each student introduced himself/herself one by one. There were 97 students attending the workshop. Nilambar Badal gave a brief introduction of the workshop.

Pen team had brought many pieces of different colours kite papers. Then, Bal Gopal and Bijaya asked the students to take one piece of paper according to their preference from a bucket. Then, Nilambar involved the students in a name game. He put a paper on Prem’s forehead in which “Water” was written. Then, Prem was asked to find what had been written in the paper. With two rounds of question answers, he could find out the answer. Then, he called a student and put a paper in his foreword writing “Tree”. The student found the answer in third attempt. Slowly and steadily, with some joking and fun, PEN team could have icebreaking with the students. Then, the groups were formed according to the colour of the papers the students had. There were ten groups.

Then, the students were asked to raise environmental issues. There was a kind of question/answer session for a while. One after another students came up with so many environmental issues in which the human beings have direct or indirect concern. They pointed out issues like: solid waste, air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, deforestation, and energy such as electricity, gas, fuel etc.


The issue started with trees. The students explained about the importance of trees. They are the sources of rain, water, fuel and oxygen. Hence, everybody should protect and preserve trees. In many parts of the country, the people cook their meals with fire-woods. We can’t tell them stop doing it but we should encourage to plant the trees right after cutting one. Students strongly advocated for the need of tree-plantation. The students also told that the papers are made from the woods. It is equally important to utilize the text books and note books effectively. We should not waste the papers. They said that they will give the papers to recycle centre after using the papers. In Nepal, wood mafias are very active in deforestation and it will be a big problem for Nepal in future. They strongly demanded lawmakers to make a special law to punish such wood mafias.

Water Pollution

They also raised the issue on water. Though the country is rich in water resources, there is a huge scarcity of drinking water. Even if we manage the water, it may not be drinkable. In Kathmandu valley, there is shortage of water. The rivers have become much polluted with the wastes and chemicals. They condemned the act of throwing garbage and drainage directly to the rivers. There are various sources of water such as mountains, rivers, well, ponds, fountains, streams etc. We need to protect these areas otherwise the sources will be vanished. Due to global warming, the excessive temperature caused many water sources to vanish where there used to be waters. There should be a long-term solution of drinking water problem of Kathmandu valley. The students recommended different means to purify water before drinking. The students said that the unnecessary use of water should be avoided. We should conserve the use of water by turning offs taps while not using them and by reusing water whenever possible.

Air pollution

As per the students, the air pollution is another big environmental issue. The smokes coming from industry, old vehicles, burning the plastic, burning the wastes, gas leak, using pesticide and insecticide, smell comes from dead animals, the unmanaged garbage etc. cause the air pollution. To reduce the air pollution, the industries should install environmental friendly equipment; the vehicles need to have regular check up and servicing; the plastics either should recycle or bury; the household wastes should be properly managed in home; check the gas regularly and give extra care while using, the use of pesticide and insecticide in the agriculture farm should be discouraged, dead pets or animals should be buried properly.

Noise pollution

The students pointed noise pollution as another environmental issue. Unnecessary horn, old vehicles, musical advertisements, political announcements, music volume, street dogs etc. cause noise pollution. Everyone should be responsive for others.

Solid waste

Solid waste is a critical environmental issue of Nepal. It is a byproduct of human activities which increases with rapid urbanization, improved living standards and changed consumption patterns. If solid waste is properly used, it can be a valuable resource but if it is not effectively managed, it can result in serious adverse impacts on environment and public health. The students believed that the wastes should be managed properly in the home. As far as possible, the amount of the waste should be reduced. There should be proper segregation and storage of waste at source. The kitchen waste can be turned into compost and can be used in gardening. They viewed that the compost can be sold in the market. Similarly, the inorganic waste (plastic, paper, glass etc.) can be sold to scrap dealers which they can recycle or reuse. Similarly, the wastes can be handed to waste collectors. The people should stop throwing the waste here and there.


The students also raised the issue on energy such as electricity. In Nepal, the electricity is being generated through water resources. In spite of being rich in water resources, Nepalese people are facing a huge electricity shortage causing several hours of load-shedding. They assured not to watch T.V., play music player, use iron and heater unnecessarily. Instead of tube-light and bulb, they will tell their parents to use CFL for saving electricity. The students sought for the long term solution of the electricity problem in Nepal. They suggested government to give subsidy for solar energy so that the over dependence on electricity would reduce. If possible, the government needs to explore the possibility of electricity generation from windmill.

After the interaction on several environmental issues, Nilambar spoke about the disadvantages of carrying mobile phones. He told to give extra care while using LP Gas for cooking. He further warned that the students under the age of 16 should not use the mobile phone as it adversely affects their health because of the usage of ether.

The students were, then, asked one by one to share what they have learned today and PEN members offered ball pens and chocolates to them.

Then, Nilambar Badal asked each group to prepare a paper and present what they have learned from the workshop. All ten groups handed their papers to President Sujan Koirala. PEN team also involved students in a demonstration. The students clean the class rooms and properly managed the wastes. Since there were papers and plastics, it didn’t require much time for the cleaning and segregation.

PEN President handed dustbins, dustpans and sweeping brooms to Principal Ram Hari Pudasaini. Speaking at the occasion, he expressed thankfulness to the school authority for their support in holding the workshop successfully. He was confident that the school will properly use the distributed materials. He also thanked students for their active and valuable participation and hoped that they have learned a lot from today’s workshop. He shared that the aim of this workshop was not only to extract the information from students but also to encourage them for environmental friendly behaviour. Environment is a big concern for everyone in Nepal and if he/she feels responsive towards the environment and practices environmental friendly behaviour, it is possible to keep the environment clean, green and healthy.

Chairman of the workshop Principal Ram Hari Pudasaini expressed his thankfulness to PEN for organizing such an important workshop. He claimed that he learned a lot from the workshop. The methodology adopted by PEN was unique. He appreciated PEN for effectively coordinating and managing the workshop. He assured that the given materials will be properly used. He further said to his students, “You need to practice environmental friendly behaviours from now onwards” and added, “You should implement the knowledge you have gained today in your daily life.” He once again thanked PEN and declared the ending of the workshop.

In this workshop, we did not have any formal planning as our approach was quite different. We implemented “Dewey Model” for the workshop. Our attempt was to extract all the information and knowledge on environmental issues from the students and their interactions and we were successful in our mission.

PEN thanked Hon. Member Nilambar Badal for fabulously coordinating the workshop. It was a few days hard-work of PEN President Sujan Koirala, Secretary Manohar Sapkota and Treasurer Bal Gopal Shrestha which made this event a success.