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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.


Local Government committee agrees to ban disposable plastics            

Bodhgaya Nagar Panchyat agrees to ban disposable plastics starting from the new tax year in April 2011. 
This will include disposable consumer item such as plastic bags, cups and polystyrene items these will be banned in the main Bodhgaya area. 

Representatives of the local government have said they will implemented the reduction of use and introduce the ban slowly. This action is part of their plans to develop a waste management system in the town and surrounding areas.

Other areas they have voiced as part of their development strategy are providing dustbins in the streets for disposal of waste and bringing in an external waste management company to manage the collection and disposal.


Outreach work in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim 2011

In March 2011, SET went to Sikkim to start setting up partnerships with Chaktar Rinpoches foundation and Eklavya Model Residential Tribal School.
Workshops were delivered to over 250 students from a remote tribal school in Gangyap, West Sikkim.

Topics of the workshop covered were: 
Climate change local issues
Cause and effect globally and locally


Green school program February 2011

Teacher training took place over two days in Bodhgaya. Over 14 schools participated and 27 teachers attended the two workshop sessions.


Teachers in groups discussions

The topics covered were environmental education, creative learning, social engagement and practical action. The Earth Charter Initiative and guidelines were introduced.

More information can be  found on the article on the HOME page.


4th- 13th February 2011

The SET environmental info table was set up outside Mahabodhi Temple gate to distribute information on 4 R’s, waste decomposition times and carbon offsetting through tree planting.

The Nyingma Monlam Chenmo brought in 10,000+ devotees attending the 11 day event. Most of these people were from the Himalayan regions of Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladahk, Arunchal Pradesh, and Tibet. It was mentioned several times by these people that plastic bags is already banned in Ladahk, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and encouragement and support was given to us for the work to implement this plastic bag ban in BodhGaya. 


The place of Buddhas enlightenment could be a lot cleaner than what it is now if every person took a little more care and attention into how they were effecting the environment through their daily lifestyles and consumer habits.

During the 11 day event we approached individuals who were carrying plastic bags to exchange it for a cloth one, of which we provided and at the same time raised awareness about the plastic bag ban within the Mahabodhi Temple complex.


Since November 2010, many activities have taken place.
As we have been on the ground getting as much out there as possible during this winter season, it has taken till now to get to sit as this computer to update the latest news.

During the beginning of November ......

Environmental experts came from Delhi, England, Ireland, Himachal Pradesh, Hong kong, Bangalore. They ran workshops for local groups on topics: ZERO WASTE, SUSTAINABILITY and the community, Solar power, Recycling.

Since September 2009, The Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee agreed to ban plastic within the temple grounds. SET has been working to raise awareness about this issue and suggestions of alternatives with the general public from local and international visitors. We were working in cooperation with the large Buddhist groups to implement these alternative solutions for a plastic free zone in the Mahabodhi area. The groups that supported us included Kagyu Monlam, Nyingma Monlam, Tipitaka Chanting, Aloka Foundation and many others. Please refer to the womens projects for further details about the activities during this winter 2010.

The disposable plastics we are focusing on reducing are bags, cups and polystyrene plates. We are aiming to reduce plastic pollution this year by working with the BTMC, Buddhist groups, local businesses, village womens groups, hotels, monasteries and education in schools. Since October 2010 we have reduced 50,000 plastic bags on the land of surrounding Bodhgaya.
Environmental Info Table
In December....An information table was set up outside the Mahabodhi Temple gate. Banners describing the carbon, hydro cycles and the cause and effects of pollution. Waste decomposition times and promoting the 4 Rs as a concept for actively engaging with making practical changes to our consumer and daily habits.

This is just the beginning.....

On 25th December 2010, the petition with 7000+ signatures in support of the plastic bag ban in Bodhgaya was presented to Mr Prem Kumar, the Urban Development Minister. The letter of request was made to implement at least a plastic bag free zone to be enforced 1km radius around the Mahabodhi Temple.
Mr Prem Kumar followed up with calling a second meeting with Hoteliers, Monasteries, NGOs and Tourism businesses to also reduce their use of plastic and that he was going to take it up with the higher government in Delhi, for an official ban.


1 November 2010, Bodhgaya, Bihar.

Today Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) announced a ban on disposable plastic inside the Mahabodhi temple, the Buddhist sacred place where Buddha attained Enlightenment.

This new measure is a part of a major collaborative effort to reduce waste and improve the environment in Bodhgaya, led by the Sacred Earth Trust, in collaboration with BTMC, Tergar Monastery, Jean Amitaba School, Welfare Society, International Buddhist Council, Hotel Association and the Bodhgaya community.

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