Today is September 23, I am 23 years old. 23 years is not a very long time and then again it is enough time, I have more memories than if I were a 100s years old. I am just opening my email inbox. Everyone is wishing, The first one is from my sister and she is wishing me a happy birthday and 20-30 other emails from some friends and well-wishers. This is the day to celebrate coz my mother gave me birth and here now I m in the name of Kumar Paudel. But, Age and the average human lifespan are being scarcest things for me…. At 23, that is maybe an immature funny feeling…. Anyway, it’s strongly driving me to move on…. On this occasion, I want to thank all friends, family, well wishers and supporters for their great endeavor to explore my world; province of questions and unknowns with limitless possibilities.
|This appeared in print in Republica National daily.
“Why are you worrying about Rhinos in a country like Nepal, where people are fighting for food?”
As a conservation activist, this is a question I face very often. Though I always try to convince them with my technical argument, they aren’t wrong either. But, the fact is, conservation issues everywhere goes parallel with these problems – poverty, climate change, food scarcity and conflict among others. However, it’s high time that the youth of this generation understood the significance of conservation, for their own good.
Biodiversity might not sound that much significant on the surface level, but in real
ity it has a series of imperative relation with us. It’s the variety of life on earth – the variation of genes, species, and biomes, along with the interactions between them. Currently, world’s species is declining due to Habitat loss, Invasive Species, Pollution, Population over growth and Over exploitation (HIPPO). And youth’s concern is very important about this prominent situation, because not only our generation, but the generations to follow will be adversely affected by the human-induced biodiversity loss.
A research on Bee has concluded that if they get extinct, human beings will only have four years until they die. No more bees would mean no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, and eventually, no more man.
Our energy primarily depends on plants and animals. Our body contains trillions of cells, each of which is connected to the other, forming a rather complex system. Given, we human beings are superior in the brain-ware but we shouldn’t forget that we share the planet with as many as 13 million different living species including flora, fauna and microbes, only 1.75 million of which have been named. This incredible biodiversity is a priceless treasure, and this nature’s grant forms the ultimate foundation of human life.
These millions of fellow beings are collectively working to produce food, water and clean air, making earth the only living planet in the solar system. They are directly and indirectly supporting the living structure of earth, each one species contributing equally to maintain the ecological balance. The loss of a single species is not only a cultural tragedy, but it also undermines our own survival.
Biodiversity’s contribution to our life is not only practical, physical and functional, but also cultural. The diversity of the natural world has been a constant source of inspiration throughout human history, influencing civilization, the way our society has evolved and supplying the basic goods and services upon which trade and economy has been built. The disappearance of unique species like Rhino is a loss that cannot be calculated and leaves us all much poorer.
According to the 2011 census, nearly 55 per cent of the total population of Nepal is below 25 years of age. Recognizing this important demographic cluster, concerned authorities need to reach out to their expectations and ideas to inculcate awareness among them on environmental stewardship, nurture lifelong skills to manage the environment sustainably and, ultimately empower them to incorporate environmental issues as part of their lives, especially those who live in rural areas, where biodiversity exploitation takes place. Most rural young people are not aware of the value of biodiversity. Proper awareness programs, campaigns and trainings could play vital role to change their attitude and promote the values of biodiversity conservation. This will also encourage them to share nature’s benefits fairly and equitably.
However, if we aren’t able to do so, the impact will be felt not only by us, but by several generations ahead us. Therefore, we need to raise a cadet of leaders that understands the immense value of biodiversity.
(The writer is founder of Greenhood Nepal and currently pursuing Masters in Environment Management at Pokhara University.)
बुबा भन्नुहुन्थ्यो, “म बहुत भड्किलो मान्छे अरे ।” सबै कुरा जान्नै पर्ने । “लाटा देशमा गाँडा तन्नेरी” भनेझैं गाउँमा केहि जान्ने कहलिन्थे पनि म । समयक्रममा फलामे ढोका नि भाँचियो । र, छिरियो “ज्ञानको सागर” भनेर बुझिएको विश्वविद्यालय भएको शहर काठमान्डौं । कहिले रत्नराज्य त कहिले थापाथलि क्याम्पस धाउँदा धाउँदै अन्ततः अस्कल (अमृत क्याम्पस) मा पुगेर अडिएं म, बिएस्सी सकें । अहिले एमएस्सी पढ्दैछु ।
अनकन्टार गाउँको त्यो एक्लो स्कुलमा पढ्दा म आफूलाई जति जान्ने सोच्थे, अहिले सहरको सानदान भनिएको नीजि कलेजमा पढ्दै उत्तिकै केही नजानेको सोच्छु ।
विज्ञानका केही अन्तर्राष्टिय सभा–समारोह तथा कार्यशालामा सहभागिताको अवसर जुरेसँगै म मुम्बई, व्रोनो, प्राग, कोलम्बो, ढाका, सिंगापुर पुगें । त्यत्तिकै घुम्दै पोल्याण्ड, मलेसिया, सिंगापुर, दिल्ली लगायतका ठाऊँहरु धाएं । त्यहाँका विश्वविद्यालय पुगें । झन्, आफू केही नजान्नेको रुपमा चिन्दैछु । कलेजमा प्रोफेसरहरु परिक्षामा के लेख्ने मात्र भन्नुहुन्छ तर योबाट के गर्ने भन्ने उत्तर सोचिराखेको हुन्छु म । नोबेल पुरस्कार बिजेता रिचार्ड अरनेस्ट हुन् मोहमद युनुस, उनीहरुलाई भेट्दा मभित्र केही सिक्ने तरंग पैदा हुन्थ्यो । मजस्तो अज्ञानीबाट ति विद्धानहरु पनि केही सिक्न खोजिराखेका देखिन्थे । म हरेक दिन कलेज जान्छु । जाँचमा नम्बर राम्रै ल्याउँदा मात्र मेरा प्राध्यापक खुसी हुन्छन् र छन् पनी । तर कसलाई के मतलब, “मैले खाँटी के सिंके ?”
ANKIT ADHIKARI KATHMANDU, FEB 26
Conservation school for awareness:
KATHMANDU: In a bid to make people of Sindhupalchok aware of the illegal trade in wildlife materials rampant in the region, local wildlife campaigner Kumar Paudel, in coordination with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has initiated a conservation school in the district. Every six months, the school will bring together at least 30 local schoolchildren and educate them on the perils of smuggling. “If we start educating children at the school level, they can turn into individual conservationists in future, ridding Sindhupalchok of smuggling,” Paudel expressed his hope. (PR)
DISTRICTS surrounding the Araniko Highway have become regional hotspots for smuggling with the rising frequency of rare wildlife and plants being seized from districts like Sindhupalchok, Dhading and Nuwakot. The Araniko Highway leads to the Tatopani-Khasa stretch, the only open trade link between Nepal and Tibet, which is considered one of the world’s most prominent destinations of poached animal parts. Smugglers consider Sindhupalchok and the Araniko Highway one of the easiest routes to transport valuable wildlife parts, said experts. Animal parts poached from other parts of the world, including Africa, are also being transported to Tibet via this route. Another route often utilised by smuggling rackets is the highland route between Siliguri and Tibet. The Sindhupalchok District Forest Office (DFO) said that red sandalwood, pangolin parts and seahorses are among the frequently seized materials on this 114 km highway. According to the DFO data, since 2007, around 15,774kg red sandalwood has been seized on the highway. Similarly, over 63 kilograms of pangolin parts have been confiscated in the last two years. “There have also been some significant seizures of seahorses, tiger hides, rhino horns and red panda skins in recent times,” said Indra Prasain, district forest officer for Sindhupalchok. For instance, some 20kg of dried seahorse was seized in June 2012; 2.5kg of seahorse en route to China from Khorsanibari along the highway was seized in August 2012. These seizures of seahorses clearly indicate the active operation of an international racket since Nepal is a landlocked country. Continue reading