Naryn Community Committed to Solving Environmental Problems
This piece was written by UCA undergraduate student, Rukhmina Imronshoeva, Class of 2021.
Naryn is a mountainous region that is 315.5 km away from the capital, Bishkek. Even though the city falls behind developed cities such as Bishkek and Osh, it experiences environmental problems at a higher intensity. Pollution due to poor waste management, land degradation, water pollution, and the absence of environmental policy, are pushing Naryn to the edge of environmental problems.
With this in mind, a group of UCA junior students organised a training at the University of Central Asia on November 17th to raise awareness within the local community. Thirty local representatives participated, and are engaged in planning further projects aimed at combatting environmental problems, and leading the Naryn community towards a “Green Naryn”.
The training, conducted in Kyrgyz language, dealt with how citizens can play a bigger role in protecting their environment, and also called for action to plant more trees, use less plastic, and raise the awareness of the rest of the community.
Youth environmental activists also attended the training, and were engaged in discussions about general environmental stewardship, and Naryn’s ecological problems. “Previously, waste management involving waste separation was not practiced in Naryn. As we are now promoting it in our schools, we should expand it to the entire town,” said Bermet Isagulova, environmental activist.
Gulayim Anarbekova, from the “Montessori and Early Education” Foundation noted that “Kyrgyzstan’s education system does not provide courses on green ecology, however, they are necessary as we are standing at the edge of an ecological catastrophe. We blame mining companies for polluting our land and water, but we are the main contributors to pollution. As a community we have to take responsibilities for our actions, and care for our planet.”
Participants showed their interest and concern about environmental problems in the Naryn region. They volunteered to participate in projects such as tree planting, using eco-friendly canvas bags instead of plastic, and running a Plogging marathon, where runners collect trash as they run.
As a first step towards environmental stewardship, all participants received hand-made, specially-designed and washable eco shopping bags that will allow them substitute plastic bags when shopping. Overall, the training built a collaborative relationship between the University of Central Asia, the Naryn community, and environmental activists who are committed in making positive changes to help the environment.