A dynamic group of undergraduate students at the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Naryn (Kyrgyzstan) and Khorog (Tajikistan) are actively raising awareness about ecological issues, and encouraging participation in environmentally sustainable practices.
UCA’s Eco-Warriors club in Naryn aims to protect the environment, and regularly organises community clean-ups, social events and environment-related challenges on campus, as well as other activities to raise awareness within the community.
Across the Naryn campus, the club has set up 25 boxes to sort recyclable materials. “Last year we collected over 385 kg of paper, 70 kg of cardboard and 50 kg of plastic for recycling on campus,” said Rysgul Nurbekova, Eco-Warriors Club President. “We also plan to work with the Naryn municipality, and expand our recycling initiatives to all schools and public spaces in Naryn.”
In 2020, the Eco-Warriors club won a grant from the United States Embassy, enabling the club to install recycling boxes in all schools, universities and offices in the city of Naryn. This initiative will also include conducting training on ecological problems, how to recycle and segregate waste, and the importance of living eco-friendly lifestyles.
“Currently, the only way to recycle in Khorog is to transport waste from Khorog to Dushanbe. We collect paper and plastic bottles, and send them for recycling,” said Anisa Abibulloeva, who leads the UCA Green Community. “We only use trucks that are travelling to Dushanbe anyway, in order to minimise our carbon footprint.” In the future, the club hopes to establish a recycling machine in the town of Khorog, where the University campus is located.