Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled the logo of ‘Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Ecotourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ (TREK) – a collaboration between KP government, World Bank Group and Nestlé Pakistan at a ceremony held in the capital.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “I would like to give my heartfelt congratulations to, Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – for his partnership with the World Bank and Nestlé Pakistan for a project I believe that was necessary for a really long time.”
The partners vowed to work together for the protection of ecosystem through solid waste management and plastics recycling at the tourism sites across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. TREK activities include awareness campaigns for tourists, and training of local communities and businesses on waste minimization and collection.
Speakers in the event highlighted the role of tourism in job creation and appreciated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s efforts for facilitating tourists by improving accessibility through roads, rescue services and planning of tourism zones.
“We are opening up new destinations for domestic and international tourists and inviting the private sector to further develop the tourism market of the province. Our collaboration with the World Bank Group, Nestle and other stakeholders will strengthen the efforts to create livelihood opportunities and effectively address the issues faced by the tourism sector including waste management”, said the Chief Minister of KP, Mahmood Khan, when addressing the event.
“TREK is an initiative under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project being implemented in partnership with the World Bank Group. Tourism Department and its activities emphasize heritage preservation, tourism infrastructure development and destination management while adhering to the fundamentals of responsible tourism,” said Abid Majeed, Secretary Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Culture and Youth for KP.
Speaking on the occasion, Najy Benhassine, Country Director for World Bank Group (WBG), Pakistan said, “The WBG is keen to continue supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in their efforts to provide employment opportunities to the youth in the tourism sector. Today marks the beginning of an important partnership with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and private sector and we expect to see more corporates stepping forward to contribute towards responsible tourism across the country. The growth and job creation potential of this sector is massive”.
Highlighting Nestlé’s initiative in the project, Samer Chedid, CEO, Nestlé Pakistan said, “As part of our vision for a waste-free future, we are accelerating our actions to tackle plastic waste and our partnership with WBG & KP government is a step in that direction. We will be driving new behavior and understanding through community engagement, cleanup activities, trainings and connecting waste recycling companies with the local administration.”
Earlier, KITE and Economic Revitalization of KP (ERKP) project contributed 2 excavators, 6 garbage compactors, 4 dumper trucks, more than 300 dustbins for disposing, collecting and removing waste in the jurisdiction of the Galyat Development Authority, Kaghan Development Authority and Kalam’s relevant authority.