Project to conserve rhododendron

- CHANDRA KARKI, TEHRATHUM

Oct 4, 2017-The government has implemented  “Protected Forest Project” to protect the rhododendron species in the districts of Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum and Taplejung. 

Under the project, various sustainable conservation programmes will be launched to protect the rhododendron trees that are found within 558 sq km area  covering the three districts, also known as the Teenjure-Milke-Jaljale (TMJ) region-- the country’s rhododendron capital.

The TMJ region was declared a rhododendron conservation area by the government in July 1998. Twenty-eight species of rhododendron trees are found in the region.

Devi Chandra Pokharel, the district forest officer of Tehrathum, said they had come up with a five-year work plan to protect rhododendron trees in the TMJ region.

The concerned forest authorities had consulted with Green Solution Nepal while preparing the work plan. In the first phase of the project, Rs 11.8 million will be invested in the forest conservation works. 

Once the five-year period is completed, the project will be extended by another five years. 

Locals had long been demanding the government to run community-based conservation programme in the TMJ region.

Tulasi Sangraula, the chairman of Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (Fecofun), said they welcomed the project that will see active involvement of locals in conservation works.

“Our demand has always been that the authorities should not curtail the rights of locals once the forests in their areas have been declared a protected site,” he said. 

Laxman Tiwari, the coordinator of National Rhododendron Conservation Management Committee, said the project would pave way for the development of the region.

“It took some years for the government to come up with the project, but it is a good news for the people living in the region,” he said.  

Published: 04-10-2017 07:42

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