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Sikkim Calls - June 2012

Finally, headed to the Sikkim mountains to start work on the outreach projects.. Two main projects are to be work on, firstly, environmental training for tribal school in Gangyap and secondly, to start the planning and design of a land for developing a permaculture site in partnership with Chaktar Foundation, a Sikkim based organisation.

  

Read more: Sikkim Calls - June 2012

Permaculture Design Course 25th March- 8th April 2012

Permaculture Design Course in Bodhgaya

25th March- 8th April 2012

The first permaculture course in Bihar was hosted by Sacred Earth Trust and facilitated by Rico Zook. Rico has over 20 years experience on the field in USA, Middle East, West bengal and South India. He has taught many PCD courses in numerous locations around the world and we were fortunate  to have him accept the invitation to teach in Bodhgaya.

    

Patterns in Permaculture, the participants and cardboard boxes to be used to make the solar cooker.

Read more: Permaculture Design Course 25th March- 8th April 2012

Support given to reduce plastic bags 2012

Sponsor Cloth Bags for Events 2012

During the winter time- peak season in Bodhgaya many visitors come on pilgrimage.

This is the time when the plastic pollution is at its worst and strategy needs to be in place to reduce the impact of the disposable packaging from mounting up on the dumping places. Even though there is a waste disposal system set up by the local government for collection and disposal, there really is no system put in place for dealing with the plastic pollution. This is an issue that most places are faced with especially where tourism has touched.

During these months Sacred Earth Trust (SET) works to campaign local businesses and event holders to reduce their use of plastic bags. These organisers often fall prey to using commonly found thin grade plastic bags in the name of convenience to safe time and resources…but unfortunately on the bigger issues, it does not support the sustainability or conservation of the natural environment and adds to the pollution and health and safety issues.


Amitabha Foundation blessed food in cloth bags made by village women

 

Read more: Support given to reduce plastic bags 2012

Bodh Mahotsava Cultural Event 3rd- 5th February 2012

Environmental Information Stall in Bodhgaya Cultural Event by Nolan McFadden

On a hot Indian winter morning in early February 2012, our small international group of volunteers and eco-supporters went out on the Kalachakra Maidan in Bodh Gaya to hang the posters and set up the Sacred Earth Trust booth for the colorful and promising Bodh Mahotsava Cultural Festival, a three-day diversity-celebrating event which would bring exciting performers and important officials, along with 50,000 attendees, to this small holy city....

 

Read more: Bodh Mahotsava Cultural Event 3rd- 5th February 2012

New Office Space 1st Feb 2012

Sacred Earth Trust New Office!!!

We have just moved into a new office space located at the north side of Kalachakra ground in Bodhgaya.

We have started operations in the office immediately with volunteers busily working on preparations for forth coming projects and writing the workshop outlines for the  health hygiene programs part of the initiative to improve sanitation issues in Bodhgaya.

Thanks for all who have given supported!!
 

SET's New office and Volunteers busy preparing for the upcoming events and workshops

Plastic ban updates

 

DISPOSABLE PLASTICS BANNED  IN BODHGAYA  

 

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect" - Aldo Leopold

Since early 2009, Sacred Earth Trust SET, has been working in cooperation with the local and the international communities to reduce the plastic pollution in Bodhgaya and surrounding villages.

By raising awareness on the issues in relation to plastic pollution and the effects on the land, water courses, human and animal health.

 

                                                                 

Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee BTMC agreed to officially ban disposable plastic at the grounds of the Mahabodhi Temple in September 2009 and it was publicly announce in Oct 2010. SET volunteers worked on gathering a petition of support for the ban, collecting over 7000+ signatures from local and international communities was presented to local and central government in 2009 and early 2010. This has lead to the local government officially banning disposable plastics and will work towards implementation through education and practical action, starting within 500m of the central area around the Mahabodhi Temple.

 

4R's: REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE was introduced last year to bring awareness to plastic pollution in the sacred land.

       

Village women have been an important part of the solution. Through developing income generation projects,  sewing cloth bags has resulted in keeping 50,000+ plastic bags off the land during the winter of 2010. This initiative was supported by BTMC and the Buddhist organisations, such as Kagyu Monlam, Nyingma Monlam, Amitabha Foundation, Aloka Foundation, Tipitaka who come to Bodhgaya for the annual peace gathering events under the Bodhi Tree.  Local supporters included hoteliers and businesses.

 

The local government in nearby Gaya are developing strategies on developing an infrastructure for the development of the Solid Waste Management SWM system by outsourcing the work to private SWM companies to deal with the clean up.

                                             

There have been several attempts to deal with the waste issues, which accumulate during the peak seasons. Due to lack of resources the SWM system till now is to dump in a pile at collection points and then taken to the town dumpsite just outside town or the river- bank of the famous Naranjana. The river remains a dry sandy riverbed apart from 6 weeks of the year, when the monsoon comes. Small improvements have been made slowly this year such as new waste bins for collection placed along the main street and walking precinct.

 

There are many issues in Bodhgaya in regards to environment, social and economic developments which all seem to be effected by or dependant on the tourism of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims during the 6 months of the year.

 

The sustainable development of Bodhgaya will take time to implement and to engage those who can make a difference locally, but as international visitors to the place of Buddha’s enlightenment we can make a huge difference by being conscious of what we consume and how we choose to do it.

 

Small things make a big difference……..

Say no to plastics- can reduce plastic pollution on the land and impact on air pollution

Using your own cloth bags -can reduce plastic bags being used and you can use it more than once.

Bring your own reusable water bottles or thermal flasks- can reduce use of plastic water bottles and polystyrene, plastic cups

Bring your own cutlery, cups and plates- can reduce your disposable waste at events

 

Through conscious living and taking action we can be part of the solution!!!

 

For more info: www.sacredearthtrust.org

LINKS WITH MEXICAN SMALL TOWNS

Forging Links in Mexico


                              

 

Sacred Earth Trust worked in collaboration with Cine en el Campo on designing and facilitating Workshops in Mexico Small towns for raising environmental awareness in regards to the issues relative to that area. Two weeks in Baja California Sur engaging communities in Mulege and Guerrero Negro, a UNESCO world Heritage Site.

We focused on mobilzing the students and teachers in schools and women in the community of the small towns. The main topic we explored was WASTE and pollution and the issues and impact it was having in the local areas.

 

                               

 

The workshops topics:

Climate change and Global warming

Reducing plastic pollution: 4 Rs as a reference and guide for facilitating change 

Campaign to start segregating waste to be recycled

Water issues: pollution and contamination

Garbage enzyme

Slow sand filter

 

The workshops often resulted in discussions between the women on how to facilitate change. Teacher training session were effective in setting an awareness program and for encouraging the beginning of the working partnerships between the schools and actual practical action on reducing plastic pollution in the surrounding areas. A competition was set for the students of the three schools to design a poster for their communities on the topics of 4 Rs and the impact of pollution on land, health, water and air. The winning posters of each school would be made into banners to be displayed in their school and surrounding communities.

 

                                 

 

Links were made between the 3 schools and the local recycling operation with "Mr Recyclado". The recycling company had agreed to sponsor the printing of the winning posters and provide segregation bins for each school to begin and continue their practical action.

                                                          

Cine En El Campo who had organised the project, filmed the whole process during the two weeks and the footage was edited into two short films, they were screened as part of the touring film festival. The tour went to 50 small towns around Mexico and Baja California Sur areas and showed 9 films on various issues including environmental topics.


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