Tourism and agro-based industries are important sectors in Nepal and Bhutan as they contribute significantly to their GDP, employment generation, and foreign exchange earnings. However, the rise in tourism has put extra pressure on developing additional infrastructure and has contributed directly to environmental degradation, waste generation, and environmental pollution.
The project SEID is designed to directly address several issues faced by both tourism and agro-based industries of Nepal and Bhutan, by emphasising on optimisation of energy and water usage; environmental protection through proper waste and chemical management and judicial use of resources. In addition to this, the project also provided support for the development and enhancement of a framework for sustainable tourism in the two countries. The ultimate aim of the project (in addition to the benefits of sustainability that they would get) was to help the target industries and regions maximise their economic profits, enhance their foreign exchange dealing potential, optimise their resource use and new job creation.
Key interventions from ASSIST included training of trainers on responsible consumption and production; delivering awareness campaigns on resource efficiency and technical assessment / consulting support to 200 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); showcasing appropriate technologies promoting sustainability and developing linkages with academic institutions, facilitating Focus Group Discussions and creating Green Clubs and execution of awareness campaigns such as inter-school competitions.