EDITORIAL: Conserve Chure

Researches have proved that locally managed natural resources not only help conserve environment and ecosystem but offer income to locals

The Chure is the youngest and the most fragile mountain range in the Himalayas spreading from east to west. It is the major source of water, ecology, rich in biodiversity and flora and fauna.

After the first Constituent Assembly election, President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation Development Programme was launched.

The government has allocated budget annually for the protection and conservation of the Chure range that links the Tarai-Madhes the Himalayan range, which is the water tower of the major rivers in Asia.

The government had to launch the Chure conservation programme after the fragile mountain was found to be exploited massively without considering the future environmental consequences and life in the plains which is the food bastion for millions of people.

Recently President Bidhya Devi Bhandari instructed the Chure Conservation Development Board to link the conservation initiatives to livelihood of the local communities who largely rely on fodder, forest products and river products such as sand and boulders for construction works.

But the over exploitation of the natural resources has caused immense environmental degradation threatening desertification of the fertile plains.

Nadiman Lake of Sarlahi is a case in point. The lake was on the verge of extinction due to negligence from the local government.

After the President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation Development Programee took initiative to preserve it the local communities have taken initiatives to further conserve it generating resources for local development.

Before the programme was launched to protect the lake nobody thought that its conservation would lead to generate enough resources to uplift the livelihood of the local communities.

The president has advised the Chure Conservation Board to utilize the funds generated from the visitors of the lake for the education and skill enhancement plans of women. As many as 12,000 people visit the lake every day.

The fee collected from the visitors is utilized for the conservation of the lake and its surroundings. Local people, according to the officials, have benefited from the tourists who buy the local products helping the locals increase their income and enhance their livelihood.

The President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation Master Plan has also envisaged conserving five rivers which have faced environmental threats due to over extraction of river products.

Most of the rivers originating in the Chure range are drying up as crusher industries located on the foothills of the Chure range extract sand and boulders only for commercial benefit overlooking the long-term environmental impact which has caused landslides, flash floods, etc.

The government should impose a ban on over exploitation of river products from the Chure range to protect its biodiversity.

At the same time, the forest resources available in the Chure range should be preserved in a manner that supports livelihood of the local communities. Local communities should be allowed to manage forestry of the Chure range.

Various researches have proved that locally managed natural resources not only help conserve environment and ecosystem but also offer great opportunity for income to the local people.

Illegal brewing

Many parts of the country, including the capital city, see the sale and consumption of illicit and spurious liquor.

Such hooch can severely affect the health of those who consume these liquor which can cause blindness and coma among the drinkers.

Although the brewing of illegal alcohol is not permitted, still there are many brewing outlets. These bootleggers supply a huge amount of liquor in the market, and they do not pay tax.

Such unauthorized alcohol suppliers should be nabbed for they are playing with the health of those who consume illegal liquor.

This is not only a matter that concerns the health of the drinkers, but it is also responsible for the crimes being committed including road accidents because of drunk driving.

Recently, the police have been raiding illegal brewing outlets and they have already shut down many such breweries. The action is being taken as part of a public-police partnership programme.

A matter of concern is that many of those whose earning is low indulge in heavily irresponsible drinking of harmful hooch often brewed with inedible chemicals.