Print Edition - 2014-06-04 | Nation
President: Political will necessary to save Chure
Jun 3, 2014-President Ram Baran Yadav has expressed displeasure over the failure of the government authorities in protecting the fast denuding Chure range despite the Presidents Chure Conservation Programme launched four years ago. He said the lack of political will and commitment in institutionalising Chure
conservation through adequate efforts and actions both at national and local level affected the proper implementation of the programme, which has been named as
one of the national pride projects by the government.
Speaking during an interaction organised by Nepal Forum of Environment Journalists (NEFEJ) to draw attention towards Chure degradation on Tuesday, President Yadav said that though conservation efforts in Chure got much-needed priority and attention from the government as well as funding required for implementation of the programme, it lacked proper “political management”.
“On the whole, there was no proper institution or mechanism to own up the
programme and implement it effectively in the region that is home to around 60
percent of the total population of the country,” said the President.
He urged the concerned bodies including the government authorities and political parties not to deem it only as a “President’s project”, but go beyond their own vested interests to protect the Chure region which is under severe threat due to its own environmental fragility.
Being one of the 21 national pride projects launched in the fiscal year 2010-2011, the
iconic Chure conservation programme initiated under the patronage of President Yadav has so far failed to deliver any positive results.
The continued deforestation as well as degradation through excessive extraction of sands, boulders, gravels and stones and illegal logging, among others, is threatening to convert the country’s heavily forested areas like Chure into a desert soon.
During the same programme, Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) blamed the extraction of natural resources and its transport to India as the major reason behind the deteriorating state of Chure.
“Similarly, the main challenge for us is to overcome the general perception that Chure, which is one of the most resource rich regions in Nepal with ample forests and other valuable natural resources, should be utilised as other productive forests in Tarai,” Poudel said, adding that, “What we are failing to take into account is the fragility and vulnerability of the region and the possible environmental impact due to our activities.”
Meanwhile, echoing the concerns of local communities, environmentalists have warned that if Chure conservation efforts and activities becomes “anti-participatory, anti-community” and more centralised as it is now, then chances of Chure reviving its former glory will be greatly reduced in the present context.
Published: 04-06-2014 07:01