Multistakeholder collaboration for a ‘Zero Dumping - Zero Burning’ Green Fair at Renuka Wetland

23 Nov, 2023

Nestled in the foothills of Western Himalayas, Renuka Wetland Ramsar Site in Himachal Pradesh is a natural lake of immense cultural significance. Effective waste management is a key challenge for local authorities during a week-long fair that is held annually at the wetland, attracting over 100,000 daily visitors and 700+ commercial establishments. As part of the Save Wetlands Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, a Green Renuka Ji International Fair was held in November 2023 to address this challenge.

The Green Renuka Fair initiative was a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving local communities, tourists, local businesses and religious institutions in anti-littering campaigns and the enforcement of a single-use plastic ban throughout the week-long event. This cross-sectoral initiative was jointly implemented by the district administration, forest and police departments, and the Himachal Pradesh State Wetland Authority, with technical support from Waste Warriors Society.

In preparation for the fair, over 500 individuals, including local community members, students, teachers, and frontline departmental staff, were sensitised as part of a pre-fair awareness campaign. The campaign’s success played a crucial role in raising awareness among visitors and vendors, fostering a commitment to environmental stewardship during the fair and enabling effective waste segregation on-site. Green Fair Guidelines for commercial establishments, along with vigilance by volunteers, significantly reduced the use of single-use plastics during the fair.

Key highlights of the event included:

  • Successful collection and diversion of over 4,500 kilograms of mixed dry waste from the wetland ecosystem to a Material Recovery Facility for further processing.
  • A mass cleanup drive at the culmination of the fair, garnering overwhelming support from local stakeholders.
  • The lessons learned from the Green Renuka Fair are set to be scaled up as guidelines for green events around wetlands across India.

This initiative was supported by the ‘Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection’ project implemented by the MoEF&CC and GIZ as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) supported by BMUV. These collective efforts are making significant strides in protecting and conserving India’s rich biodiversity, a key goal of the Green and Sustainable Development Partnership between India and Germany.

Solid waste management activities during Green Renuka Fair 2023, Renuka Wetland, HP ©GIZ India


About the project

The Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection project aims to strengthen the institutional framework and capacities for an ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) in India. Four Ramsar sites have been selected as pilot sites under the project: Pong Dam and Renuka Lake in Himachal Pradesh, Bhitarkanika Mangroves in Odisha, and the Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in close cooperation with the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. Read More

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