LETTERS: Better use of soil

Our global soil resource is extremely valuable, non-renewable natural resources that is often neglected or not given the due importance it warranties.

Several anthropogenic factors like rampart environmental pollution, rapid expansion of industry and agriculture without any sustainable environmental planning, exponential rise in global human populations, destruction of natural virgin forests and jeopardizing ecosystems for developing infrastructure without any environmental impact assessment, political instability, socio-economic crisis, infringement into forested areas, extensive use of chemicals in agriculture, changes in non-sustainable land use patterns, non-environment friendly agronomic practices like extensive tillage, grazing in restricted forested areas, slash-and-burn method of agriculture, anthropogenic wildfires to mention only a handful.

It is therefore important to pay serious attention to conserving global soil resources through sustainable soil management practices and avoiding destroying soil characters through extensive tillage based agriculture, avoid extensive application of toxic chemicals, avoid grazing and heavy dependence on scanty forest resources for their daily sustenance by remote rural populations, fringe dwellers and forest residents, avoid extensive infrastructure development in virgin forested areas, practice green manuring, systematic crop rotations, avoid keeping soil surface exposed at any time of the year.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada

Labour export

Apropos of the news story “Protection gaps exist in legislation: UN special rapporteur” (THT, February 6, Page 10), and editorial “Whither protection?” (THT, February 9, Page 8), it is absolutely clear from UN’s concern and worry that Nepal has not been able to take care of its migrant labourers despite tall talks and promises.

With migrants contributing 31 percent to the GDP, Nepal should give top priority to labour export over hydro, agriculture, tourism and handicrafts export. Nepalis of all ethnicity, ages, caste and colours have no choice but to exit Nepal through both formal and informal channel to escape joblessness in the county that is hovering at precarious 40 percent.

All attempts should be made to ensure migrants’ trip is as convenient and hassle free as possible. This is purely a government duty and responsibility. Giving appropriate job training, ensuring their welfare and protection during their stay abroad and safe return home is also government responsibility as indicated by the UN.

Anybody flouting ‘free visa, free tickets’ and charging fees above Rs 10,000 must not only be stripped of business license but also be sent to jail. That must apply to government servants too.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu