Minister Basnet pledges to increase forest cover

Kathmandu, May 4

Minister of Forest and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet today said that he would make efforts to increase forest cover and improve the management of forests across the country.

Speaking at a press conference organised at the ministry here today, Basnet said he would also make efforts to relax provisions of the forest protection laws.

“I think our forest protection laws are a little harsh. We need to have liberal attitude and we need to keep people at the centre of our approaches,” Minster Basnet added.

The minister also said that he would make efforts to generate more than 20 per cent jobs that the government had planned to generate in a year.

Forest Minister Basnet also said that the government needed to change policies to make the country self reliant on forest products.

The minister said the government would establish new institutions to produce human resources needed to mange the forest sector.

On the occasion, Ministry of Forest and Environment issued a white paper, saying that the government would adopt strategies for the management of agriculture and urban forest, and conservation of environment.

The ministry also stated that it would follow just distribution system to ensure that all the citizens, including women, indigenous nationalities, Dalits, Madhesis and indigent people, got more benefits from forest products.

The Ministry of Forests and Environment said more than 100,000 hectares of forest land was encroached across the nation and cases of conflicts between wild animals and humans were increasing every year. It also said that 19 million people were at the risk of effects of climate change.