Barbara Adams Talk Series III discusses conservation of Chure

The third episode of the Barbara Adams Talk Series was organized on April 24 2018 in the Nepal Tourism Board Hall, following the ceremony to award the Barbara Adams Investigative Journalism Award. The episode was titled “Conservation of Chure: Why is it essential? How is it Possible?” and focused on the issue of degradation Chure has seen over decades, the need to conserve it, its importance for the livelihood of the people of Terai and ecology.

Former President of Nepal Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker. In the panel were Mr. Rameshore Khanal, Former Chairman, President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board and former secretary; Dr. Bishwonath Oli, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment; and Mr. Birendra Yadav, Chairman of President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board. TV journalist Ms. Shivanee Thapa moderated the discussion.

The program was two and a half hour long and took place before the audience of over 150 individuals representing different professional fields, and media.

Dr. Ram Baran Yadav started the program with his keynote speech. In an hour-long speech, he drew the picture of Chure from its glory days of the past to its degraded state in the present. According to him, the Chure of the past was not like the current one that is heading towards extinction due to degraded forest, unplanned human settlement, uncontrolled domestic animal grazing and excavation of its resources.

He also highlighted the fact that if Chure is preserved and returned to its former state not only will it preserve the ecosystem of the hills and the Terai, it can also be used to uplift the livelihoods of the people by sustainable and planned utilization of the resources of Chure.

The former president also recollected how as the president of the country he initiated discussions about the urgent need to protect Chure and through concerted efforts of the government President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board was set up.

Mr. Rameshore Khanal shared his involvement in the Chure conservation as the first chairman of President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board. He stated the Board was formed with the highest priority and the name President was attached to ensure that this conservation efforts would go ahead with national priority. He said that fragmentation of Chure should immediately stop if we are to protect its 23 biodiversity centers. He called for the need of coordinated efforts of different sectors involved in various projects the Chure region in order to thwart any conflict in the conservation efforts of the Chure. Among the sustainable ways of conservation, he suggested managing farming and animal husbandry. He also suggested promoting alternative fuel like bio-gas to reduce communities’ dependency on forest for firewood.

Dr. Bishwonath Oli, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment shed some light on the preventive and remedial measures the government is planning for the conservation of the Chure region. He said Chure’s conservation will intensify and the government has already prepared a master plan for conservation.

Mr. Birendra Yadav, Chairman, President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board talked about various programs like downstream and upstream linkage, integrated river management among others, which it is taking ahead in partnership with different partners. He stressed on the need of an integrated policy in the form of separate act for Chure conservation.