Print Edition - 2014-06-01 | Nation
prez chure conservation programme
- Forest users call for more local participation
May 31, 2014-
Community forest users in the country have blamed the failure to effectively implement the President Chure Conservation Programme on the inadequate involvement of local communities who have been managing the forests in the country.
Community forest users’ demand for ensuring meaningful participation of the local community users in the Chure programme is likely to dominate the fifth convention of the Federation of Community Forests Users’ Nepal (Fecofun)
“Local communities have played significant role in transforming a denuded land into lush forests over the years. However, instead of rewarding for their efforts, the government has tried to alienate these groups from various forest conservation programmes, including Chure,” Fecofun Chairperson Apsara Chapagain said on Saturday.
Reacting to media reports that the government is planning to use security forces in Chure for effective forest conservation, she warned such a move would be counterproductive in overall forest conservation efforts.
The multi-million rupees national pride project, which covers 26 districts from Jhapa in the East to Kanchanpur in the Far-west, has been in controversy since its launch in 2010 for failing to deliver positive outcomes.
Rampant deforestation along with excessive extraction of natural resources has put the fragile Chure on the brink of an environmental disaster. Chure region, the county’s youngest mountain range, spans over 36 districts and accounts for 12.6 percent of the country’s total area. At 76 percent, the region boasts the larger forest area in the country.
However, the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) brushed off suggestions that the government was deploying security forces to protect the country’s forests.
Denying the reports, Secretary at the MoFSC Ganesh Raj Joshi said that the governemnt is working on strategy to address Chure degradation. A study is being conducted to identify and analyse vulnerable areas along the Chure range and come up with mitigation and control measures, he said.
Similarly, the conservation modality has been changed as more stakeholders, including Department of Plant Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Department, to address issues such as controlling overgrazing, livelihood empowerment and sustainable agriculture both at central and local
Earlier, the Departments of Forests and Soil Conservation and Watershed Management under the MoFSC were resposible for implementing the programme.
Fragile geological formation, compounded by unmanaged human settlements, excessive extraction of sand, boulders and stones, are gradually pushing Chure region towards desertification.
Published: 01-06-2014 09:15