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Tourist Stakeholders Observe World Tourism Day 2009 in Nagarkot

On the auspicious occasion of “World tourism Day 2009’’ a one day workshop on Waste Management issues in tourism destination’s was organized in Nagarkot, where various tourism professionals, academics, journalists and entrepreneurs were present and expressed their views and concerns regarding waste management issues faced in the tourism sector.

“Waste has become a serious problem in all of Nepal’s tourist destinations and is more alarming in hill stations such as Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Chisapani, Manakamana, Tansen, Jiri and Namche bazaar etc, as these areas lie at high altitude and have comparatively low temperatures throughout the year, resulting in limited opportunity for the natural decomposition of wastes.” Says Arun Kumar Shrestha, the President of Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF). Mr. Shrestha, further added that a single institution/person cannot mitigate the problem of wastes and there are no other alternatives than to work together and make a combine effort so that it can be minimized.

Similarly, Dr. Suresh Raj Chalise, the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University stressed that the entrepreneurs should not be too smart only In making money from tourism, rather, they should also take into consideration the environment, health and sanitation of the area where they are operating their business. Likewise, Professor Sanjay Khanal, from the Central Department of Environment Science, Kathmandu University highlighted the government policies and acts related to waste management in Nepal, and made a presentation on the case study of waste management in Sagarmatha National park.

Biogas Technology A sustainable waste management tool
Role of Vermicomposting in Health Care Waste (Organic Waste) Management
Solid Waste Management Research in SNPBZ and its Outcomes Sanjay N. Khanal
Waste as Resource Recycling and Reuse of Scrap Waste -KISHOR P. LUITEL
Waste Management - Policy and legal measures - Dr. Sanjay Nath Khanal
Waste to Resources- Dinesh Raj Manandhar

Prof. Ananda Shova Tamrakar from the Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University made a presentation on vermi-composting as an appropriate tool to manage kitchen wastes. Mr. Nawal Kishor Mishra, from Department of Water Supply and Sewage made a vivid presentation on Waste Management- Methods, Tools and Techniques. Ramesh Shrestha from the Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University stressed on the combine efforts of stakeholders to manage wastes along trekking trails. Mr. Bijaya Pradhan, Ex. Chairman of Dream Nepal Travel and Tours and present Chairman of Discover Nepal (NGO) suggested Nagarkot Naldum Tourism Committee (NNTDC) to develop a ‘Code of Conducts in Environmental Issues’ so as to protect the degrading environment of Nagarkot.

Mr. Prasum Bajacharya made a presentation on the Bio Gas Plant as a tool to manage wastes. Likewise, research trainees, Isha Manandahr and Deepa Tuldhar from Kathmandu University made a presentation on the existing waste management situation and about the problems and opportunities in Nagarkot and Dhulikhel. The other participants in the workshop were the participants were from the Government of Nepal, Department of Sanitation, Kathmandu Metropolitan, Dhulikhel Municipality, Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), TAAN, NATA, PATA-Nepal, RAHAN, NTB, BTDC, NPDC,DDC Kathmandu, DDC Kavre, KMC, Dream Nepal Travel and Tours Pvt. Ltd. and Discover Nepal.

The ultimate aim of the workshop was to create an atmosphere where all the stakeholders can work in a consolidated form to create a solid platform to manage the waste in Nagarkot and other similar hill stations of Nepal. The workshop was a regular activity of Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation, which has been developing cultural trekking routes around the Kathmandu valley with the support of Suomen Latu -Finland. So far NETIF has established tourist rest shelters, community houses, waste collectors, incinerators, trekking trail promotion activities such as route marking signage etc. NETIF works through local partners called Tourism Development Committees along the trekking trail and has already implemented village clean up campaigns, trainings on waste management, tourism based business, micro enterprises development, handicrafts production, organic farming and other various capacity building trainings in the communities around the trekking trail.

The workshop was concluded by the formation of task force to manage the waste in Nagarkot. The program was conducted under the Chairmanship of Arun Shrestha, the President of NETIF and was hosted by Nagarkot Naldum Tourism Development Committee where as Dr. Suresh Chalise, the Vice Chancellor was the chief guest of the program. Likewise, World Tourism Day was also observed in Mulkharka, Dhulikhel and Panauti in the initiation of NETIF through community cleanup campaign, tree plantation and workshop on organic farming.

(A case study of Nagarkot, a popular hill station)

1. Background:
Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60m above sea level to the highest point on earth, the Mt.Everest at 8848m.Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is one of the most densely populated cities. It is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country. Inside and around the city, we can find many big Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Lodges, etc.

Naturally and culturally the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas have unique and attractive tourist products. Within a 20km radius there are seven World Heritage Sites, one can see panoramic view of mountain range during the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking, and can also observe the best Nepal’s rural culture life with minimum equipment. But at the same time it is an obvious fact that Kathmandu has expanded over the last decade with new buildings of all shape. As a result of it, the valley has to witness a difficult situation of fast-growing unplanned urbanization and uncontrolled land development creating lots of problem regarding proper solid and sewage waste management.

Aiming at avoiding its environmental and cultural problems efforts are being made through government and non-government levels. There are some NGOs in Nepal that support tourism and environment related activities working with local communities, government organization and private sectors. “Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF)” is one of them. This organization has already undertaken few programs regarding tourism and environment in “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT)” for the sustainable tourism development.

Presently NETIF is working with local communities and encouraging environmental sustainable practices for the promotion of Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail. Some of the noteworthy works includes clean-up campaigns, construction of tourist shelters, installations of incinerators, bins and toilets as well as local capacity building programs including waste management and environment conservation.

2. Introduction of Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT):
Tourism is one of the major industries of the Nepalese economy. It represents a significant position of the gross domestic product. It is highly consumer centered activity. The constant increase of the number of visitors/ tourists has put extra pressure on the local environment and requires the development of additional infrastructure and facilities. Apart from environmental degradation from infrastructure development in the tourist areas, there has been a big challenge of waste management and environment pollution not only from local people but also from hotels, resorts, restaurants etc.

The need has been realized by the organization (NETIF), which is working to promote community based eco-tourism in the area and has developed “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT)” as one of the major tourism products of the country. In the context of KVCTT, the problem of waste management is one of the big challenges of managing the waste properly to promote responsible tourism in the area. To address those challenges various awareness campaigns like- capacity building trainings for hotels, resorts, lodges and tea-houses, placing environment slogans in the trekking trail are being carried out, incinerators are constructed in the major settlements, waste collection bins are placed throughout the trail. Some of the major activates performed by NETIF to promote eco-friendly tourism and to address waste management related issues in KVCTT are:
• Mushroom and Off seasonal vegetable Cultivation trainings
• Doll making from Corn husk( Waste to Resources)
• Food and Personal Hygiene and Sanitation training in Hotel
• Cleanup campaign in various destinations.
• Workshop organized on Organic farming, Waste Management and Heritage Conservation
• Different research surveys on Solid Waste Management

Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT) passes through a National Park and three other Hill Stations. Since Nagarkot is a typical popular tourist destination as well as part of Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT), this paper is also based on the study of solid waste management situation in Nagarkot.

3. Case Study of Nagarkot:
Nagarkot is situated at an elevation of 2,175 meter above sea level. It is located 32km to east of Kathmandu city. It has been a weekend spot for mountain viewers in quite and comfort. The sunrise viewed from this hill presents the majestic panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges from Mt. Dhaulagiri in the west to the Mt. Everest in the east. Presently there are around 40 tourist standard hotels, resorts, restaurants and tea-houses and numbers are still increasing.

3. 1. Total Waste Generated in Nagarkot

The different categories of solid waste generated from hotels, resorts, restaurants, lodges and shops are classified as biodegradable wastes (food waste, vegetable waste etc.) and non-biodegradable waste (paper, plastic, glass, metals, dust etc). In Nagarkot tourist area, the average total waste generated from different sources is 1453.83 kg/day.

3.2. Waste Collection System in Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants:
The collection of wastes in the hotels and resorts is done by using plastic buckets, metal bins or paper boxes due to the fact that there is no specific type of collection system and most of them have to manage their waste by themselves. Some of the hotels and resorts have solid waste collection system .The wastes are being transported to nearby dumping site. From the survey done for the case study, it was found that almost all hotels are willing to have a specific collection system and two pay charge for the service.

3. 3. Reuse /Recycle
Though reuse and recycle of the waste can help to reduce the amount of the waste it was found that very few hoteliers are aware of it. Some of the hotels, resorts and restaurants are reusing mineral water bottles. Almost all the hotels are selling the empty bottles to the scrap dealers.

3. 4. Problems and Challenges of Waste Management
• The waste is managed in traditional way in hotels, resorts & restaurants,
• There is no such awareness in the public and no strict rules against the waste pollution,
• Management of solid waste is extremely poor and hazardous to health,
• Adoption of general available technology,
• Commitment of waste management by stakeholders.

3. 5. Necessary Steps to Implement for Recycling Programme in Hotel Waste Management
• Identify and quantify recyclable materials currently being thrown away in open land,
• Involving the hotel’s participation in all stages of the recycling program,
• Promote and identify “Green Hotels/Resorts” (which means the hotel who uses resources wisely incorporating energy, water, recycling & water)
• Select products made from recycled materials,
• Purchases energy efficient equipment that causes less environment harm,
• Appointment of a Waste Manager who will be responsible for implementation of procedures & standards of waste management.

4. Conclusion and Recommendations:
Naturally, solid Waste Management is one of the major issues for tourism promotion and also play a major role to save or destroy the beauty of the place. But so far it shows that there has not been adequately considered in practice over this aspects of solid waste management.
Taking into account, the present situation of Nagarkot, it is obvious that solid waste problem has created many serious huddles in tourism development. Thus there is still a need more efforts to address such problem as soon as possible by promoting eco-tourism in “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail” with the involvement of local communities. Taking into conservation all these facts following recommendations are suggested:
• Awareness programs, trainings and workshops should be conducted for waste handling for local community, tourist, staffs of the hotels, resorts, restaurants, tea-houses, local shops etc,
• Habit of waste reduction at source itself should be practiced to reduce solid waste problem. Even the various types of wastes should be segregated at the point of source so that treatment of solid waste would be easier and efficient,
• New technology need to be introduced to recycle and reuse the plastics waste and other mineral water bottles ,
• Incinerators have been placed by NETIF for demonstration purposes which are working well there. More incinerator are required to be placed in various location for burning non-biodegradable waste,
• Since hotels, resorts and restaurants generate relatively high amount of organic wastes, it is recommended for them to adopt compost making technology by them individual basis as well.

• Bhatta Damodar Prasad (June 2006). “Ecotourism in Nepal”, Quality Printers Pvt.Ltd, Kathmandu, Nepal
• GTZ (1988). “Solid Waste Management with People’s participation, An example in Nepal”. Kathmandu: SWMRMC
• ICIMOD and MoEST (2007). “Kathmandu Valley Environment Outlook”
• Manandhar Isha (August 2009). “Study on Solid Waste Management in Tourist Area of Nagarkot”, Kathmandu University
• The Ecotourism Society (1999). “Ecotourism: A Guide for Planners & Manager”, Natraj Publication, Dehra Dun
• Website of Nepal Environment & Tourism Initiative Foundation(NETIF)-


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