Chure declared conservation zone

  • end to assault on nature
  • Export of sand, gravel and boulders to India banned with immediate effect
- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu
Chure declared conservation zone

Jun 17, 2014-

The government has declared Chure as a conservation zone, prohibiting all activities amounting to deforestation, wildlife loss, and excavation of minerals, sand and boulders.

Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Minister for Forests and Soil and Conservation Mahesh Acharya said the decision was taken considering the vulnerability and sensitivity of Chure that is undergoing rapid transformation due to unchecked logging and forest degradation.

The region extends from Ilam in the east to Kanchanpur in the west and covers 12.6 percent of the total area of 36 districts in lower hills and the Tarai. The government has banned all activities that affect its environment and barred the entry of people without permission from an authorised local agency.

The decisions were based on the provisions of the Environment Protection Act (1997). This is an encouraging move from the government to control the rampant exploitation of Chure, said Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha, a bio-diversity expert. The multi-million-rupee Rastrapati Chure Conservation Programme launched four years ago failed to put an end to the rapid degeneration of the country’s most vulnerable and sensitive ecological region.

Minister Acharya also announced a complete ban on the mining and export of sand, boulders, gravel and soil from any part of the belt to India effective from Tuesday.

On Monday, the Cabinet announced the formation of a separate high-powered President Chure Tarai Madhes Conservation Development Committee led by former finance secretary Rameshwor Khanal.

The five-member panel will expedite efforts on forest conservation, environment protection and improvement in the socio-economic aspects of the people there.

Forest Secretary Ganesh Raj Joshi said another objective of the committee is to improve unscientific agricultural practices in the range highly vulnerable to landslides and floods.

Published: 18-06-2014 10:36

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