On January 04, 2024, the Nepal Government passed a new policy that has dire implications for Nepal’s highly threatened wildlife and their habitats inside protected areas. The new policy permits infrastructure projects in any protected areas that are ecologically sensitive, without due consideration given to the potential environmental impacts and also undermines the Environmental Impact Assessment process. We herewith formally submit our objections to the Ministry of Forest and Environment requesting modifications to the procedure to address these key issues.
Protecting biodiversity by science-driven actions, along with respecting local communities and their empowerment, are core values of Greenhood Nepal. As a conservation non-profit and civil society organization working to help protect Nepal’s wildlife for a decade, we feel it is our responsibility to review government policies and raise concerns on the potential impacts. The government’s new procedure titled ‘Construction of Physical Infrastructure Inside Protected Areas’ has caught our attention and raises alarm. Since protected areas are established to conserve wild flora and fauna, we disagree with certain provisions in the procedure that do not place adequate priority on biodiversity conservation in our opinion. Furthermore, the continuation of the procedure in its current form will inevitably result in an ecological and economic crisis in the long run.
Greenhood Nepal is committed to addressing the issues that impact our biodiversity and the communities that depend on it. In accordance with this value, we submitted a response letter to the Government of Nepal with a request to make necessary amendments to the procedure. The response letter represents our view on the procedure as we highlight the contradiction of its provisions with other conservation acts and regulations of Nepal. We call on the government to consider the detrimental effects that the current policy will have on our ecology and communities and amend the procedure to be in full compliance with all the existing acts and laws on biodiversity conservation.
You can read our full comment in Nepali, submitted to the Ministry of Forest and Environment on 18 January 2024, here – LINK