June 24, 2010

Nepal Halts Logging Temporarily

BBC News reports that the Nepalese government has announced a two-month ban on all logging in the country. The ban is due primarily to the high number of trees being cut down in the forests of the southern, low-land Terai region of Nepal. According to one report, more than 250,000 acres have been lost in only a few months—more than was logged over the five-year period from 2000-2005.

From BBC:

Around a quarter of the land mass in Nepal is under forest, and much of this is managed by community projects.

Such projects in the foothills of the Himalayas have been successful in preserving forest cover, but projects in lowland areas have been less well managed.

Visiting Lumbini a few years ago, which is in the Terai, I remember being informed about deforestation issues within the Master Plan area of the Buddha's birthplace. Dr. Christoph Cueppers, Director of the Lumbini International Research Institute, said that there were regulations in place, but it's difficult to enforce them. According to Cueppers, most deforestation in Lumbini is due to local villagers looking for firewood.

Image: Photographer Kenro Izu (center) in Lumbini, Nepal, 2009, with Tibetan and Nepalese monks and his Indian assistant. Photograph courtesy of Kenro Izu.

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James Baker's picture

Just a matter of time until it all looks like the middle east where they have burned all the wood. That's what humans do. Excrete on the land until it's too filthy, and then move, or burn everything then move.

Rell's picture

They're doing the right thing. Heaven knows the troubles deforestation can lead to, and they'd be wise to avoid it. At least they value their environment enough to stop while they still can.