The INNOV CONFERENCE in Kathmandu, Nepal was conducted in 30th July 2016 by Tourism Development Endevors (TUDE) as partner and in behalf of CliMates with an aim to inspire young people to discover and create their own innovative and sustainable solutions to local environmental challenges. The Innov’City project was initiated in the framework of another project led by the youth organization CliMates, i.e. COP in My City.

Three guests, Ms. Silshila Acharya, Mr. Shahil Shrestha and Ms Krity Shrestha who are actively working for the management of environment were invited to share their views and ideas on the environment challenges and how we can deal with it. Ms. Silshila, CEO of Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), the first speaker expressed her views on the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle. According to her, though being a small concept, 3Rs have a very big role in solving huge waste related problems. She emphasized on breaking bigger words into simpler actions. She had been working in the reduction of plastic bags; reuse of biodegradable cloth bags and recycles of plastic PET bottles. To reduce plastic bags, Hamri bahini of HCI had conducted various campaigns. One of the effective campaign was “No thanks, I carry my own bag”.

With the aspirations to increase the use of bicycles in Nepal and reduce the use of petrol based vehicles, the second speaker Mr. Sahil, President of Kathmandu Cycle Society 2020, also presented unique views and innovative solution to problems. He focused on advocating for Bicycle Safety and the need of cycle lane. Use of cycles for shorter distance travel would decrease the fossil fuel use which is a major source emission of green house gases and other pollutants. He also presented the possible way to a sustainable society are hidden in the traditional way of living and settlement patterns such as traditional Newari settlements of the valley.

Focusing on practical actions, Ms. Krity, Climate Change officer, South Asia regional office, showed a way by which we can address and issue or a problem in the path of sustainable solutions. This way was called “Campaign”. According to her good campaign design and persistence is required to address some issues. She gave us guidelines about designing and organizing a campaign and also conducted a group activity.

The youths actively participated in the Conference. There were 40 participants. There was question and answer round after the each talk session and the participants were given opportunity to give their views and innovative ideas. The Conference was very effective for young people to develop and practice different innovative ways to solve environmental problems. As from my personal experience, I was glad to be a part of the Conference.