Nestlé Pakistan in partnership with the World Bank and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department began community engagement activities under the “Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Ecotourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” (TREK) initiative.
The two-day training titled “TREK for Healthier Kids” was held in collaboration with the Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK) program. It concluded with a certificate distribution ceremony for teachers, distribution of 4,000 reusable bags and 2,300 N4HK books to children in Galiyat. N4HK is one of Nestlé’s global Creating Shared Value initiatives that empowers parents, caregivers and educators to foster healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits among school age children.
TREK is a collaboration between the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, World Bank Group and Nestle Pakistan under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project. TREK, launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan in December 2020, emphasizes on heritage preservation and destination development while adhering to the fundamentals of responsible tourism.
Highlighting the importance of ecotourism, Abid Majeed, Secretary Tourism, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said, “We are looking for solid waste management (SWM) and plastics recycling in tourist areas through TREK initiative. Alongside provision of SWM equipment other activities included in this program, are awareness campaigns for tourists, and local communities. Awareness campaigns at local schools is part of this program which will enable them to carry forward the agenda of clean and safe Galiyat.”
Sharing his views, Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Pakistan said, “As part of our vision for a waste-free future, we are accelerating our actions to minimize packaging waste and our partnership with the World Bank Group and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is a step to improve collection and recycle to promote circular economy. We will be driving new behavior and understanding through community engagement activities such as awareness campaigns under N4HK and cleanup activities.”
Talking about the initiative, Kiran Afzal, Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank Group Pakistan said, “We are pleased to see that this important activity has advanced to the next stage and that TREK is now actively involving local community in its efforts to ensure responsible tourism in Galiyat.”
Raza Habib, Director General Galiyat Development Authority (GDA), highlighted the support provided by the GDA to the TREK activities. He appreciated that these activities were helping tourists have a better experience of the scenic valleys of Galiyat. “We vow that GDA will continue to support the TREK initiative for a safe and sustainable Galiyat,” he said.
Nestlé Pakistan’s commitment to TREK includes 2 pillars: awareness campaign focusing on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and a community engagement plan which includes activities that will help in countering the issues of waste and pollution.
The partners also highlighted the role of tourism in job creation and appreciated the government’s efforts for facilitating tourists by improving accessibility through roads, rescue services and planning of tourism zones.