‘Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Ecotourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ (TREK) – is a collaboration between KP govt, World Bank & Nestlé to promote responsible tourism for a waste-free future.

 Nestlé Pakistan, in collaboration with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s Tourism Department, conducted extensive training on waste management and sustainable tourism in Swat as part of TREK’s community engagement initiatives. Nestlé has also donated 2,000 reusable bags among communities in Swat.

Earlier in December 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan had unveiled the logo for TREK, which is part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project and has been listed amongst the federal government’s key achievement for 2020. The partners had vowed to work together for the protection of ecosystem through solid waste management and plastics recycling at the tourism sites across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Addressing participants of the two-day training, Tashfeen Haider, KP Additional Secretary Tourism Department said, “TREK is an initiative under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project being implemented in partnership with the World Bank Group and Nestlé Pakistan.”

“Activities within TREK include provision of solid waste management equipment, awareness campaigns for tourists, and training of local communities on waste minimization that we just concluded under KITE,” he said.

Talking about the initiative, Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Nestlé in Pakistan & Afghanistan said, “We are excited that the community engagement leg of TREK has kicked off and these trainings for the hospitality sector will help realize our vision for shaping a waste-free future by driving new behaviors that contribute towards a cleaner environment.”

“At Nestlé, our vision is that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or rivers. To achieve this, we have set ourselves the commitment of ensuring 100% of our packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025,” he added.

Kiran Afzal, Senior Private Sector Specialist, of the World Bank Group shared, “We are happy to bring this initiative to Swat which is experiencing an increasing influx of tourists. We are hopeful that this partnership will produce results on the ground by encouraging a responsible attitude towards destination management and respect for the ecosystem.”

Nestlé Pakistan’s commitment to TREK includes 2 pillars: A Massive 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, pollution and destruction of wildlife, in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12, 13, 15 and 17.

The two-day waste management training comprised of sessions on categorizing waste, the importance of recycling, learning to conduct waste audits, basic food safety, and the importance of WASH compliance among others. The event concluded with souvenir distribution for participants by Ghulam Saeed, Director General Directorate of Tourist Services and Touseef Khalid Project Director KITE.

In June 2021, the TREK communication campaign in Nathiagali was launched to promote responsible tourism in the Galiyat region. At the launch, 2,000 reusable bags were handed out to Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) for local tourists and hotel associations. Radio and social media campaigns have been launched. Furthermore, locals and tourists are being encouraged to keep Galiyat clean as part of TREK’s communication campaign.

This was followed by a two-day training titled “TREK for Healthier Kids” in August 2021. It concluded with the distribution of 4,000 reusable bags and 2,300 N4HK books to children in Galiyat.