Lawmakers make pitch for local’s role in chure

Kathmandu

Jul 23, 2014-Miffed over the formation of Rastrapati Chure Tarai-Madesh Conservation Development Committee without proper consultation, lawmakers representing the Chure region demanded that the government include local participation in the conservation of the area.

Speaking at the first public programme since the formation of the high-powered committee and declaration of the Chure as Environment Conservation Zone about a month ago, the parliamentarians from the region blamed the government for “bypassing” them and warned that effective implementation would remain a big challenge in the coming days.

On June 17, the government declared Chure hills an ecological conservation zone and formed the committee former finance secretary Rameshore Khanal to oversee the management and conservation of the area. Officials at the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation insist the decision was made considering the sensitivity of the region and the urgent measures that needed to be taken to protect Chure.

The Chure region cannot be protected without engaging all stakeholders, said Anita Devkota, a lawmaker representing the Nepali Congress. The area covers 36 districts stretching from Mechi to Mahakali and is home to around five million populations.

The government has already made a mistake by declaring Chure a conservation zone and forming the committee without reaching out to the concerned stakeholders, said Balram Adhikari CPN-UML lawmaker from Kapilvastu district.

“With the formation of the committee, the government should now set up local-level committees representing the families living along the region for the effective management of degrading Chure region,” he said.

Jiwan Kumari Ghimire, a parliamentarian representing UML from Jhapa, said the government did not discuss the issue even once at the parliamentary committee on environment. “We are not against the effective management of Chure and its people. But we are concerned over the working modality put forward by the government which is trying to curtail the rights of the locals,” she said.

Published: 24-07-2014 08:50

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