World Environment Day 2020 Nepal: Bio-diversity Of Nijgadh Forest Is Under A Threat

World Environment Day 2020 Nepal: Bio-diversity Of Nijgadh Forest Is Under A Threat

June 5, 2020, 9:38 a.m.

Despite spreading the COVID-19 Pandemic nationwide, the Nepal government is also celebrating the World Environment Day organizing limited programs preventing the risk.

The global community is celebrating World Environment Day 2020 with a theme 'Celebrate Biodiversity', Nepal fails to fulfill its commitments to the protection of the forest.

In his ritual statement, Minister of Forest and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet reiterated Nepal’s commitment to the cause of protection of bio-diversity. However, government action is opposite to it.

In the name of development, highly valuable forests have already been destroyed for the construction of roads including Madan Bhandari Highway linking Heatauda to Dharan through environmentally vulnerable areas of Chure.

Nepal is going through a major debate whether to preserve highly valuable Biodiversity of Nijgadh or to destroy it for the construction of mega International Airport over there?

The government is firm to construct the airport destroying bio-diversity. However, environmentalists and civil society against it and waiting for a court order. Given the government’s recent decision to start clearance of forest, they will cut all the trees by the time court decide on it.

At a time when the global community is celebrating the day with a theme celebrate biodiversity, Nepal’s current government is determined to clear a highly valuable portion of the rain forest of Bara District to construct new mega International Airport.

Environmentalists, civil society, former bureaucrats and legal luminaries knock the door of the court to prevent the destruction of highly valuable bio-diversity. A petition filed by senior advocate and prominent environmental lawyer Prakash Mani Sharma with senior lawyers Dinesh Tripathy, young lawyer Sanjaya Adhikari, environmental activist Chanda Rana and heritage activist Ganpati Lal and others are in hearing in court.

Similarly, another petition filed by Dr. Dwarikanath Dhungel, Bhairab Risal, Senior advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari, environmentalist Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki and others is also in the hearing in the court.

Despite ongoing hearing on the issue at the Supreme Court, the government has already started the clearing of 20 million highly valuable trees and plants in the region.

Although the environmental group has been launching various protest programs, the government is yet to listen to them. Several laws and regulations are promulgated, the system of Environmental Impact Assessment has further weakened. In this context, the celebration of World Environment Day 2020 in Nepal is merely a formality.

World Environment Day 2020 Date, Theme, Slogans: The World Environment Day 2020's theme is 'Celebrate Biodiversity'.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annually organizes events for World Environment Day, which encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is celebrated on 5 June in over 100 countries.

According to The Indian Express, World Environment Day 2020 Theme, Slogans: With the world fighting a pandemic together and most countries in lockdown, the environment seems to have benefited slightly. Nature seems to have been busy reclaiming its spaces. Among other things, it is getting to breathe and clean itself a little, in the absence of the constant flurry of human activities. Why is that important? It is, because just like other things, the environment needs some downtime, too. And human beings anyway have a tendency to take everything for granted, including the resources they get from nature.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the sun rays that reach us, and the food that we consume every day, are all gifts from the environment, and as such, it becomes important that they are respected, their values understood. World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5, to remind people to not take nature for granted and to read the signs, understand them, and act accordingly. It is one of the biggest annual events in the world run by the United Nations to raise awareness among people. It is believed that the day was designed by the UN General Assembly in the year 1972, on the first day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

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The World Environment Day 2020’s theme is ‘Celebrate Biodiversity‘, and it will be hosted in Colombia, in partnership with Germany. The theme is extremely relevant because human beings are part of the ecosystem and cannot continue to survive in isolation. Biodiversity is important for the survival of all living things big and small, on land, or in water. We need to understand that while there may be a food chain and ranking of species, every living thing is connected to another living thing, and together it forms a network of diverse life forms on the planet.

According to The Indian Express, Last year’s theme was ‘Air Pollution‘. You can do your bit on June 5, by educating other people and also bringing some lifestyle changes yourself, so as to put less burden on the environment.

The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is, 'Time for Nature,' with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development.

The Indian Express writes this focus is expected to provide an opportunity for driving the momentum and public awareness of nature as a key aspect in the lead up to the 15th meeting of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). COP 15 was expected to take place in October 2020 but will be rescheduled for 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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