Kathmandu, August 8 The conflict between two major stakeholders in the forest sector, the President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation Development board and Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal has come to a head with both not even holding talks for more than two years. On June 16, 2014 the government of Nepal had declared Chure area an ecological conservation area under the Environment Protection Act 1997 citing the rapid exploitation led it towards desertification. Since the day of the declaration, FECOFUN had started protesting the government decision demanding immediate withdrawal of the declaration. On the other side, the government has been continuing the conservation programme and taking further steps with success. Since then, almost two years have passed and FECOFUN continues to boycott the programme. FECOFUN’s bottomline is still the withdrawal of the government declaration, while the board has done much conservation work and even finalised the Chure masterplan for 20 years. Ganesh Karki, chairperson at FECOFUN said still there is no possibility of negotiations has without fulfilment of the FECOFUN demand. “There is no chance of holding negotiation until the government revokes its decision declaring Chure as a conservation area”, he told The Himalayan Times, “So we are continuing protests and have not contacted the government authority.” According to him there are at least 3,000 community forests along the Chure region that have been affected by the declaration. But another stakeholder President Chure Tarai-Mades Conservation Development board seems a bit flexible regarding negotiation and joining hands with the FECOFUN. The Board said the door of coordination is always open for community forest stakeholders whenever they want to join hands as more than 3,000 community forests lie in the Chure region. “We have never boycotted FECOFUN, we will always welcome the idea of protecting the Chure area jointly as the Chure range is major area of community forests,” member secretary of the board Annapurna Nanda Das said, “I request them to protest from inside not by boycotting as that will increases their losses.” The Chure range rises steeply from the Tarai plains along the whole of its northern border. It is extended as a contiguous landscape from east to west in 33 districts. This is the first and lowest ridges of the Himalayan mountain system. These are a series of low hogback ridges, in a sinuous pattern that cross the length of Nepal. Chure is bordered by the Mahabharat range in the north and by the Tarai in the south. In the west, the Chure range is separated from the Mahabharat range by valleys known as duns or inner Tarai. In some places, the Chure range itself is divided into two ranges with a dun between them. It makes up about 13 per cent of the country. The elevation ranges from 120 metres to nearly 2,000 metres. This zone has 26 per cent of the natural forest of Nepal. Of these forests, 3 per cent is conifers, 83 per cent hardwood, and almost equal amount of Sal forest and tropical mixed forest, and 14 per cent mixed Chirpine and hardwood. The Chure hills are young and composed of unconsolidated loose materials that originated from soft rocks such as mudstone, sandstone, silt stone, shale. Soils are mostly formed on sedimentary rocks with shallow and coarse textured soils. Steep slopes and weak consolidation of different layers is prone to severe surface erosion. Rock outcrops and gullies are common. Because of intense rainfall during monsoon, steep slopes and high erosion, vulnerability of soil, gullies and degraded lands are quite common in areas that are devoid of vegetative cover.
Community forest stakeholders, Chure board conflict peaks
Published: 05:12 am Aug 09, 2016