Global Peace Association Nepal through its River of Peace Campaign released 2500 fishes in the Bagmati River at Sundarijal and Ghuheswori area on June 2. The event marked a significant milestone in advancing awareness about and commitment to the restoration of the notoriously polluted waterway and created a sensation in the Nepali television and print media . (See the report from the Himalayan News Service)
Leaders attending the fish release included former Minister Er. Ganesh Shah, High Power Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization President Mr. Mahesh Basnet, government officials and the representatives from environmental and youth organizations.
World Environment Day is celebrated annually throughout the world through educational and service projects to raise conservation awareness and protect the environment. Nepal Environment Week 2013 coincides with World Environment Day on June 5, and is part of GPA Nepal’s River of Peace Campaign (RoPC).
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save.
Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.
Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment, this year’s theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages you to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empowers you to make informed decisions. --from the UN Environmental Programme
The fingerlings were provided by Officials from Livestock and Fisheries Research of Nepal and Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC). Researchers from NARC, who offered technical support to GPA Nepal, had checked the water quality prior to fish release and found that the water it suitable for the aquatic habitat.
Environment Week 2013
Nepal Environment Week 2013, organized by the Global Peace Association Nepal and 18 partnering organizations, kicked off on June 1 with a large-scale cleaning and education program, organized by the High Power Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization, and Bagmati Sewa Samiti. The morning program was launched by Minister of Urban Development Mr. Chhabi Raj Panta at Shankhamul area, with some 400-500 participants, including volunteers from environmental and youth organizations, the military, and the local residents.
The Rivers of Peace Campaign has hosted public awareness and environmental service projects to restore and conserve the Bagmati River since 2010, in collaboration with concerned NGOs and government agencies, volunteers and the residents. These efforts have made it possible for the fishes to survive in the dangerously contaminated river waters today.
Director of Livestock and Fisheries Research of NARC Dr. Tek Bahadur Gurung said that all the released fingerlings, such as Ashala, Fageta, Katla and Gardi, can be found in this type of habitat and have ability to survive as the temperature is suitable and water quality is acceptable in that area.
Executive Director of GPA Nepal Er. Ram Rohan Panta told reporters that all aquatic animals, including fish, “had gone extinct in the Bagmati River in its Gaurighat section due to anthropogenic contaminants. GPA Nepal has been cleaning up the Guheshwori-Brahmanal stretch for the past few years to make the river aquatic-friendly."
He added that upcoming awareness programs of GPA Nepal will focus mainly on households and community organizations around the Ghuheswori area. The GPA Nepal plans to collaborate with community groups to support waste segregation, rain water harvesting, and volunteer projects to clean and restore the Bagmati River.
--Reported by Global Peace Association Nepal