Forestry users told to resolve Chure conservation issues through talks

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Feb 20, 2015-

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam has urged the protesting Community Forest Users’ Groups (CFUGs) to identify and find solutions to the issues concerning Chure conservation in Nepal through talks.

Addressing a two-day ‘Chure Conservation People’s Forum’ being organised in the Capital from Friday by CFUGs from different parts of the country, Gautam said that the dissatisfied forest users’ communities should come forward for further discussion and find ways to sort out the differences related with the declaration of the Chure as a ecological conservation area by the government. In an effort to effectively manage and protect the fragile ecosystem of the Chure region covering around 36 districts from east to west Nepal, the government had in June last year declared the region as an ecological conservation area, prompting authorities to give special attention to protect the region from further environmental degradation, encroachment and illegal logging, among others.

Concurently, the government had also formed a Rastrapati Chure-Tarai Madhesh Conservation Development Committee with the responsibility to manage the region.

However, the government’s decision to declare the region as an ecological conservation area has not gone well with the hundreds of CFUGs that have played a vital role in leading the community-forest management in the country.

According to Ganesh Karki, chairperson of Federation of Community Forests Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN), an umbrella organisation of around 18,000 CFUGs, the decision, which was taken without holding any kind of consultation with the communities, tries to curtail the rights of the people over their forest resources.

“The government launched the Rastrapati Chure conservation programme to protect the region from unwanted environmental challenges along with bringing social and economic development,” Gautam said, adding, “But forest conservation efforts can never be effective in the absence of people’s participation and interest. Therefore, the communities should come forward for a dialogue to bring about a solution-based approach.

Janak Chaudhary, chairperson of the Parliamentary committee on Environment said that the committee will take into account the updates on activities being implemented by the Chure Committee led by Rameshowr Khanal, a former finance secretary.

Published: 21-02-2015 07:14

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