Shall I Breathe?

Shall I breathe!

Even masks are terrified with pollution in #Kathmandu #Dustmandu

What do you think is the easiest task? Breathing? That is what I find the most difficult one in Kathmandu. Locality matters!

Air pollution is a major environmental and ultimately a health problem in developed as well as developing cities. Kathmandu is not an exception. Instead, Kathmandu has gotten some new names because of dust and air pollution. Dustmandu and Maskmandu are the commonest ones. A recent analysis of air pollution in Kathmandu for the period of one month, Magh, showed that, the 24-hour daily averages of the PM2.5 (Particulate Matter of less than 2.5 micrometre diameter) concentration in Kathmandu atmosphere were beyond the government standard of 40 micrograms per cubic metre, forget about the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 25 micrograms per cubic metre.

At first, what is very difficult for me to understand is how the government standard becomes 60 per cent higher than the WHO standard. Is it because Gorkhalis are brave enough to tolerate higher levels of pollution than the WHO standard? If so, I am not a Gorkhali. Or I am an exceptional one!

The current analyses on air pollution are being done only on the PM2.5 concentration basis. What about other pollutants such as ground-level ozone, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and Carbon monoxide (CO)? Are these pollutants within the recommended standard? What would be the quality of air if the impact of these pollutants is also included in determining the air quality of Kathmandu Valley? A recent WHO report states that, of the 1.7 million child deaths every year, five hundred seventy thousand children under five year of age die from respiratory infections attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Though exact figure of such death is not available for Kathmandu, we can easily assume that such death is high here as Kathmandu has been ranked as the seventh worst polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality recently. How can we expect a high number of children to survive who get born in the seventh worst polluted city in the world and inhale the poisonous air since their first breathe?

Suggestions you will get to avoid the pollution in Kathmandu are so ridiculous – avoid all sports activities, do physical activities only after noon, don’t go for a morning or evening walk as air pollution is higher in the morning and in the evening! Are these pragmatic suggestions? We have to wait till noon for any physical activities? Sounds like there will be suggestions like “Don’t breathe wherever and whenever you like!” in the near future. What I have understood is that the static blanket of polluted air near the earth’s surface in the morning gets dispersed as a result of human and vehicular movements. To some extent, the solar radiation helps. But if nobody comes out of their house till noon, does the air quality automatically improve as such? I don’t think so. And is it ‘ethical’ to prevent children from going outside and playing? Can we expect them to be healthy that way? I am quite confused if these suggestions are intended to prepare healthy or ailing citizens. Is it practicable to put a mask on a two-year child while carrying him out of the house? According to news reports, the ordinary, cheap cloth masks that people generally put on in Kathmandu are also ineffective against the pollutant particles. According to researches, the oldest and the youngest are the most affected people due to air pollution. We can somehow accuse the oldest generation for not acting to curb pollution earlier. But what crime has a newborn done to inhale poisonous air since his/her first breath? The pollution levels are recorded and published; not forecasted so that we can avoid the peak hours of pollution every day.

The only panacea is – cleaning the atmosphere. The recent move to ban the twenty-year-old vehicles is a good one. According to a BBC report, the brick kilns of the valley destroyed by the 2015 earthquake are being rebuilt using new technology that emits less polluting soot and smoke. For widening the road, the government cut so many green trees in many parts of the ring road some years ago, but when it comes to curbing pollution it does not plant trees. Trees are reported to have a significant impact in reducing the atmospheric pollution. What is preventing the government for large roadside plantations? Are we only focusing on development with no concerns about the environment? Can such development be sustainable? What is the use of a city with roads of multiple lanes and skyscrapers where you have to fear for ‘breathing’? 

Twitter: @AacharyaAaditya

Towards The 2030 Agenda with Community Forestry

Also in this link: http://www.voicesofyouth.org/en/posts/towards-the-2030-agenda-with-community-forestry

After the termination of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 AD, the world is now heading towards The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prepared by the United Nations (UN), the agenda constitutes 17 goals with 169 targets envisioning a more peaceful, just, sustainable and inclusive world by 2030 AD. The goals, termed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), address the three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental.

According to the UN, Nepal has already prepared the preliminary national report on the implementation of the SDGs but the comprehensive plan on how to act upon these goals is yet to be prepared. That is to say, Nepal now has to put forward its plan on how the national priorities will be set, how institutional and financial arrangements will be made, how the indicators will be developed for the timely assessment of the achievement of the goals and so on. The goals are quite ambitious and there will be a lot of things to do for the achievement. This article discusses how Nepal’s community forestry sector can contribute to the achievement of these goals.

The program that began after the handling of a patch of forest to the local villagers of Thokarpa Village, Sindhupalchowk district for the management and utilisation in 1973 AD, by the then forest officer, has now become the world renowned “Community Forest” model. Community Forest (CF), as stated by the Forest Act 1993 AD, is that part of national forest which is handed over to the local people, forming a group known as Community Forest User Group (CFUG), for the management and utilization of the forest and its resources provided that they are able and willing to manage it. And now, there are about 20,000 CFs in the country with an equal number of CFUGs.

Poverty and hunger reduction had been the very first goal in the MDGs too. The first and the second goals of the SDGs also aim to eradicate extreme poverty in all its forms everywhere and end hunger and achieve food security by 2030 AD. The Community Forest Development Program Guideline 2071 BS, clearly states that 35 per cent of the total income of the CFUG should be invested on pro-poor targeted programs within the group. The annual income of Nepal’s CFs is over $10 million and the figure is yet increasing as the number of CFs being handed to the user groups is increasing. That way, community forestry sector contributes roughly $4 million annually (35 per cent of over $10 million) in the pro-poor targeted programs. Though there are accusations that the community forestry is under elite domination, it is not that poor are not getting any benefits. What is true is community forestry has the potential; the problem is of effective governance and law enforcement only.

The guideline also stipulates that among the two tiers of the organizational structure of CFUG, i.e. General Assembly (GA) and Executive Committee (EC), either chairperson or the secretary of the later one must be a woman. For maintaining a bank account of the group, there must be the joint signature one of which must be of woman. These provisions help in the empowerment of women and girls in decision making in public life and provide equal opportunities for leadership which are envisioned in the fifth goal of the SDGs. Similarly, there must be 50 per cent women participation in the EC with proportionate representation of Dalits, Jananatis, indigenous and marginalised people. This helps in reducing inequalities within the country, achieving inclusive and just societies and also in ensuring inclusive participation in public decision making. There are so many women-only run CFUGs that are reported to be even better than the generic ones. The provisions of annual public hearing and internal and public auditing help develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions ; CFUGs in this case.

The 25 per cent of the income from the CF, which is mandatory to be spent in forest management, development and protection activities helps minimise adverse effects of climate change, combat desertification, halt and reverse desertification and halt biodiversity loss.

The CFUGs have been doing other various activities like providing scholarships for the deserving students from their groups, constructing gobar-gas plants, constructing and/or maintaining physical infrastructures like roads, schools, hospital buildings and toilets to name a few. These all activities help accomplish the targets in one way or the other. The scholarships help in ensuring quality education, constructing toilets and hospitals helps in ensuring sanitation and healthy lives, constructing gobar-gas ensures access to affordable and sustainable energy and so on.

But it is neither the provisions nor the goals themselves that make difference. We have to act upon them to make the desired differences. The UN itself states that the SDGs are not stand-alone goals as were the MDGs. So it is not that wise to assert this sector/activity helps achieve this goal and that sector/activity helps achieve that goal. Achievement (or underachievement) of one goal has the impact on the achievement of other goals too. For example, eradicating poverty, ensuring sustainable consumption and production helps in reducing hunger, managing forests sustainably and scientifically helps in mitigating negative impacts of climate change, ensuring inclusive and quality education helps in creating peaceful, just and inclusive societies and so on. Evidence also show that families with educated mothers are healthier. So, either directly or indirectly, the forestry sector, particularly the community forestry has great impacts on the achievement of the global goals. Hence more budget needs to be allocated to the forestry sector and more work needs to be done for augmented benefits and its greater contribution towards the sustainable agenda.

And thankfully, it is not the politicians who run the Community Forest User Groups but the local people themselves who work for their own benefits. Hence the guidelines are also less likely to be infringed.

Reducing carbon emissions: Responsibility of key nations

Featured

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s 13th assembly in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007, first developed the concept of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

Of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, it was found that deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20 per cent emission in the form of carbon. Hence to reduce the GHG emission, preventing deforestation and forest land degradation was seen as one of the crucial tasks. And, for those developing and underdeveloped countries that help in reducing the atmospheric carbon by capturing and sequestering in their forests, the developed countries, listed as Annex I countries, which are the top GHG emitters, had to help them financially and technically. Based on the results of how much carbon is sequestered by the forests with reference to a certain baseline data, the forests are to be paid. This is the basic concept of carbon trading. The REDD mechanism became REDD+ and REDD++ after additional components such as sustainable management of forests and conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks are included in it.

Global temperature is soaring neither because ‘we’ (Nepalese) are consuming a high amount of fossil fuels nor because we are rapidly clearing forest lands. The amount of GHGs emitted by Nepal annually hardly equals the daily emission, if not hourly, by, for example, China alone. Similar comparisons can be made with the USA, India, Russia, Japan and the European Union. Nepal’s contribution to global GHG emission is just 0.025 per cent. Ceteris paribus, it would take forty years for Nepal to emit 1 per cent of the current annual global GHG emission. Even if we allocate our whole budget in fossil fuel only, our contribution to annual global GHG emission probably won’t reach 1 per centAnd still, we are behind REDD that aims to reduce atmospheric carbon by preventing deforestation from us, not from the top emitters! Should we always focus on forest conservation only or think about development too? It is not that development cannot be achieved within environmental protection, but instead of regulating a REDD implementation mechanism, deploying that manpower in other developmental works will be more beneficial. We are in the list of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) not because we don’t have sufficient money but because we don’t have the ability to spend it effectively and the will to develop ourselves.

Anyway, we are implementing REDD, but the issues of permanency, leakage, baseline data, etc. are raised and we are not certain to be paid again. We have been calculating the amount of dollars we deserve from our carbon sink but we don’t know if we will really get it. Just a year ago, officials were wary of the source of money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which is supposed to pay for the carbon sink after 4 years, i.e. 2020 AD and the scenario has not yet changed significantly.

What makes the situation worse is the recent political development in the United States, which is also the second largest GHG emitting country, where the newly elected president Donald J. Trump has expressed doubts over climate science, signifying it as a hoax. How can we expect such a country to pay for the carbon sink whose president-elect has even threatened to withdraw last year’s already ratified Paris agreement?

We have always been discussing how Nepal can get benefits from carbon trading. We hardly hear the discussions about how carbon trading benefits the environment actually, as the objective of REDD is to reduce the emissions and ultimately limit the rise in temperature. But at the same time, the top carbon-emitting countries do not seem to be serious about cutting down their emissions. Though the ratification of last year’s Paris agreement by many countries earlier than expected showed some silver linings, the recent political development seems to jeopardize the deal. It is not sure now that they will fulfill their commitment to limit the emissions.

If we really work for the environment, we must be able to tell them, the top emitters, “We don’t want any payment for the carbon we sequester. It’s our responsibility towards the environment/ the mother earth. We actually need you to cut down the emissions.” Then only will we have the ethical right to pressurize them to cut down the emissions. Otherwise, they will always go on saying that they were helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by paying for the carbon and it seems that we are letting them emit as much GHGs as they want for the sake of money. Expecting money from the one and pressurizing the same to cut emission does not seem reasonable. What if those countries themselves say that they won’t pay for the carbon sink? The USA may say so soon. Will we start deforestation to pressurize them? Certainly not.

Developed countries are also unwilling to cut down emissions in the name of ‘economic growth’. But, the Climate Group, in one of its news stories last year, wrote – “Demonstrating again that economic growth can be achieved within environmental protection, according to the document presented to the press, ‘Switzerland emits less GHG today than in 1990 despite the fact that gross national product increased by 36% over the intervening period.’”

If Switzerland can do it, can’t other countries do the same?

tht-opinion-2016-nov-17


[ Rewritten article of Carbon Trade Hallucinations (own blog) and published in The Himalayan Times, November 17, 2016. http://thehimalayantimes.com/opinion/reducing-carbon-emissions-responsibility-key-nations/ ]

Unanswered questions in The Kite Runner

This is neither a criticism nor an admiration. Questions got implanted on my head while reading the story, hoping they would be answered by the end of the novel but didn’t.

Firstly, Ali did not seem to be irritated being in Amir’s (Baba’s) house anywhere in the story. Secondly, the author has portrayed Hassan as a strong, self-reliant guy who does not easily get disappointed. Why Hassan so easily confessed the stealing of the watch and money even though he was not the convict. Was it because only Hassan got tired of Amir’s behavior towards him that led both of them to leave the house? Or had Ali also wanted to leave the house? Baba was always loyal to Ali, more loyal to Hassan. He had behaved to Hassan in a way not less than his own son. He had threatened his own son Amir when he had asked Baba if he had ever thought of getting new servants in the house. But, had Ali also really wanted to leave the house? Shouldn’t Ali have scolded his son and told the truth to his “brother like ‘Baba’” instead? I didn’t see any reason for Ali to leave the house. Maybe that was the plight of being a Hazara, not being able to speak to the Pashtun master then.

Later in Peshawar, Rahim Khan revealed that Ali was sterile. Perhaps Ali should also have known that, as his first wife gave three daughters to another man with whom she eloped. Did he become happy or sad when Hassan was born? Or, how did he feel? Why didn’t the author describe the feelings of Ali at Hassan’s birth?

Was it only Rahim Khan’s inference that Hassan was Amir’s half-brother or he really was? If the soldier at the military barrack near Istiqlal Middle School was true at what he had said, how can we be sure that Hassan was Amir’s half-brother? Could not he be the soldier’s son instead? Amir had also heard the soldier’s words. Maybe Baba was on the illusion that Hassan was his son as he was oblivious to the fact that Sanaubar, Ali’s second wife, had physical contact with the soldier. So might be the case with Rahim Khan. Didn’t Amir ever think about it?  He blindly believed what Rahim Khan told.

The ending is really impressive. “It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything alright. It didn’t make anything alright. A tiny thing…” But that tiny thing in Shorab’s face made the author run with a swarm of screaming children with ineffable happiness.

Published in Annanote: Online English Edition of Annapurna Post Daily

http://www.annanote.com/news/2660/Unanswered-Questions-in-‘The-Kite-Runner’ (Friday, Dec 23, 2016)

Opportunistic Patriotism?

Are you #ProudToBeNepali? Are you a Nepali patriot? Probably you are.

No, no. Certainly, you are.

But, how do I believe that you are a true patriot?

Oh yes, there are certain means of verification nowadays to prove it.

Are you cycling these days? Do you use #ProudToBeNepali and #BackOffIndia hashtags with your facebook and twitter posts? Did you tweet and retweet #BackOffIndia some weeks ago? Did you #DonateOilToIndianEmbassy?

You might be doing or have done some or all of these things, right? If yes, then you are a great patriot.

But, my dear compatriots, do you think that the abovementioned activities are sufficient to prove that you are a patriot? What is the difference between your patriotism and that of those who cycle throughout their life? Do you think you are a patriot just because you organize and attend cycle rallies only when the nation is facing acute fuel shortage?

Those Pakistani, who helped trend #BackOffIndia worldwide in twitter, are they Nepali patriots? Certainly, not.  Then you are thinking you are a patriot just because you tweeted and retweeted #BackOffIndia?

I know you are #ProudToBeNepali. Yeah, me too. But do you know, each Indian is proud to be Indian, each Chinese is proud to be Chinese, each Pakistani is proud to be Pakistani, each Afghan is proud to be Afghan. Probably, each Syrian is proud to be Syrian. They are bound to flee just because of the heartless terrorists. Then what is the greatness in being #ProudToBeNepali?

I don’t mean to say it is wrong to ride a bicycle. I am not, in any way, trying to prove that you are not a patriot. It’s ok to ride a bicycle. It’s ok to tweet and retweet #BackOffIndia. It’s ok to #DonateOilToIndianEmbassy. It’s ok to be #ProudToBeNepali. But, these are not sufficient to make our country self-reliant and prosperous. They are Madheshi people who mostly use bicycles. What if they call you an ‘opportunist patriot’ who cycles only when there is fuel crisis. Yes, I agree, these all can create pressure to end the difficult situation for a short time. But none of these activities help to make the nation self-dependent in the long run.

What is the use of blaming the government for not providing employment opportunities leaving your own farmland fallow in the village? That will be true patriotism, for now, if you produce enough crops to suffice your family but not if you just earn enough money to buy what you need for your family.

As the adage goes, “Actions speak more than words.” It is time to ‘speak more than words’ and help to uplift the nation from this transition.

If you believe the abovementioned activities only are sufficient to show you as a true patriot, my question would be – “Had India not been imposing the blockade, how would you be proving yourself as a patriot?”

Carbon Trade Hallucinations

REDD Concept and Carbon Trade

The United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s 13th assembly in Bali, Indonesia in 2007, first developed the concept of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, it was found that deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20% emission in the form of carbon. Hence to reduce the GHG emission, preventing deforestation and forest land degradation was seen as one of the crucial tasks. And, for the developing countries that reduce the emission by preventing deforestation and forest degradation, the developed countries, listed as Annex I countries, which are the top GHG emitters, had to help them. Based on the results of how much carbon is sequestered by the forests with reference to a certain baseline data, the forests are to be paid. This is the basic concept of carbon trading.

Forest Management and Carbon Trading in Nepal

Researches show that carbon is stored in high amount in properly managed forests than in the unmanaged ones. The proper and sustainable management of forests can be done through Scientific Forest Management. But, we are still unclear whether to adopt Scientific Forest Management. Just months ago, we were debating if Scientific Forest Management is the right model for forest management. Some intellectuals even argued saying that local people are not able to understand the technicality of scientific management. If they were true, are those same people able to understand the technicality of carbon trading then? Through REDD mechanism; forests will not be paid for the same stocked carbon always, but only for the increased amount. Once paid, and if a forest does not become able to increase the carbon stock and does not get paid next time, people will certainly be suspicious about this mechanism: because money matters them most, not this technical issue. And it’s uncertain if they will continue working to increase forest carbon.

Why inefficient?

Global warming is soaring up not because ‘we’ (Nepalese) are consuming a high amount of fossil fuels. The amount of GHGs emitted by Nepal annually through the consumption of fossil fuels hardly equals the daily emission by, say, for example, China alone. Similar comparisons can be made with India, USA, Russia, Australia and some European countries. Nepal’s contribution for global GHG emission is just 0.025%. If we allocate our whole budget in fossil fuel only, though our contribution to global GHG emission probably won’t reach 1%. And still we are behind REDD that aims to reduce carbon emission by preventing deforestation from us, not from the top emitters! Should we always focus on forest conservation only or think about development too? Anyway, we are implementing it, but the issues of permanency, leakage, baseline data, etc. are raised and we are not certain to be paid again. We have been calculating the amount of dollars we deserve from our carbon sink but don’t know if we will really get it. Officials themselves say that there is no sufficient source of money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which is supposed to pay for the carbon sink after 5 years, i.e. 2020 AD.

Our Role

We are always discussing how Nepal can get benefits from carbon trading. We hardly hear the discussions about how carbon trading benefits the environment actually, as the objective of REDD is to reduce the emissions and ultimately limit the rise in temperature. But at the same time, the top carbon-emitting countries do not seem to be serious in cutting down their emissions. It is not sure that they will fulfill their commitment to limit the emissions. If we really work for the environment, we must be able to tell them; the top emitters, “we don’t want any payment for the carbon we sequester. It’s our duty towards the environment. We actually need you to cut down the emissions.” Then only we will have the ethical right to pressurize them to cut down the emission. Otherwise, they will always go on saying that they have been helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by paying for the carbon and it seems that we are letting them emit the GHGs as much as they want for the sake of money. Expecting money from the one and pressurizing the same to cut emission does not seem so valid.

What if those countries themselves say that they won’t pay for the carbon sink? [Probably, they won’t say it.] But, if they do, will we start deforestation to pressurize them? Certainly not. Being the leader of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Nepal should make its member countries understand it and create a collective pressure to the developed ones to limit their emissions.

Developed countries are unwilling to cut down emissions in the name of ‘economic growth’. But, The Climate Group, in one of its recent news story wrote – “Demonstrating again that economic growth can be achieved within environmental protection, according to the document presented to the press, ‘Switzerland emits less GHG today than in 1990 despite the fact that gross national product increased by 36% over the intervening period.’

If Switzerland can do it, can’t other developed countries do the same?

aacharyaaaditya@gmail.com

अझै गरौँ ; अन्यत्र पनि गरौँ

केहि समयअगाडि यसै पत्रिकामार्फत फोहोरको मारमा भूमिगत सेती नदी शीर्षकको लेख प्रकाशीत भएको थियो जसमा सेती नदी फोहोरको चपेटामा पर्दै गइरहेको र त्यो क्रमलाई रोक्न अहिलेदेखिनै सचेतता अपनाइनुपर्ने कुरा उठाइएको थियो । सोही लेखमा, सेती हेर्न भनेर आउने पर्यटकहरुबाट हुने फोहोरलाई कम गर्न, ती ठाउँहरु जहाँ पर्यटकहरु सेती हेर्न भनेर पुग्छन्, मा सचेतनामुलक सूचना बोर्डहरु राख्न पनि सुझाइएको थियो किनकी त्यो बेलासम्म ती स्थानहरुमा त्यस्ता सूचनाहरु देखिँदैनथिए । केहि दिनअघि चाइनापुलबाट हिँड्दै गर्दा सेतीमा फोहोर नगर्न, र गरेको पाइएमा कारवाही तथा जरिवाना गरिने व्यहोराको एउटा नयाँ बोर्ड देखियो जुन देखेर असाध्यै खुसी लाग्यो । तर त्यो खुसी दीर्घकालीन भएन किनभने त्यही बोर्डको वरिपरि पनि केहि फोहोर छरिइरहेको थियो, अनि तल नदी हेर्दा देखिने पहिलेदेखिकै फोहोर यथावत नै थियो । अहिलेसम्म बुझ्न नसकिएको कुरा के हो भने – (यहाँमात्र होइन) प्रायजसो ठाउँमा, फोहोर गर्नेलाई जरिवाना र कारवाही गरिने व्यहोराको बोर्ड, सूचना सँगसँगै फोहोरको थुप्रो पनि देखिइरहेकै हुन्छ । त्यस्ता ठाउँहरुमा, कि त पहिला भइरहेको फोहोरलाई सफा नगरिकनै फोहोरको थुप्रोमाथि वा नजिकै लगेर सुचना, बोर्डहरु राखिन्छन् अथवा त्यस्ता बोर्डहरु राखिएपनि त्यहीँ फोहोर फाल्ने क्रम रोकिँदैन, किनकी त्यहाँ लेखिएजस्तो कारवाही तथा जरिवाना कसैलाई हुदैन । यहाँचाहीँ के आग्रह गर्न खोजिएको हो भने, फोहोर नगर्न सचेत गराउनुअघि कम्तीमा भइरहेको फोहोरलाई चाहीँ सफा गरिनुपर्थ्याे । एउटा सामान्य मान्छेले, फोहोर गरेमा जरिवाना र कारवाही हुने सूचनासँगसँगै फोहोरको थुप्रो पनि देख्यो भने, सजिलै आँकलन गर्न सक्छ कि त्यहाँ लेखिएअनुसारको कारवाही कसैलाई हुँदैन भनेर । यदि त्यस्तो हुन्थ्यो भने त्यहाँ कत्ति पनि फोहोर हुने थिएन । त्यस्तै अवस्था महेन्द्रपुलमा पनि देखियो । त्यहाँ त पुलको दुवै तर्फबाट, घरबाट निस्कीरहेको फोहोर पानीलाई समेत सिधै सेतीमा झारिरहेको देख्न सकिन्छ । अनि पुलको छेउमा फेरि उही जरिवाना र कारवाही हुने व्यहोराका बोर्डहरु त छँदै छन् । त्यसैले, यदि सेतीलाई साँच्चै सफा, स्वच्छ बनाउने हो भने अहिलेसम्म भएको थोरै फोहोरलाई हटाएर सुरु गराैँ भन्ने आग्रह हो ।

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Final

राम्रो कामको थालनी भएको पक्कै हो जसको प्रशंसा गर्नैपर्छ । तर यति मात्र पर्याप्त छँदै छैन । सूचना बोर्डहरु अत्यन्त सानो आकारका छन् । महेन्द्रपुलको एउटा बोर्ड, राखिएको हप्तादिन पनि नपुग्दै च्यातिइसकेको छ । चाइनापुलमा जम्मा एउटा बोर्ड छ र पुलको अर्काे तर्फबाट हिँड्नेले उक्त सूचना नै देख्दैन । के. आइ. सिंह पुलमा भने अझैपनि त्यस्ता सूचना देखिँदैनन् । साँझको समयमा उक्त पुलनजिकै गएर एकछिन हेरेर बस्ने हो भने मानिसहरुले फोहोरका पोका ल्याएर नदीमा फाल्दै गरेका दृश्य सजिलै देख्न सकिँदो रहेछ । त्यस्ता सूचनाबोर्डहरु त्यहाँ पनि लगेर राखौँ । अनि सूचनाबोर्डहरुलाई यसरी राखाैँ कि सेती हेर्ने उत्सुकताका साथ आएको कुनैपनि व्यक्तिले पहिला त्यो सूचना देखोस् । व्यावसायीक विज्ञापनका ठूलाठूला बोर्डहरुचाहीँ सबैले सजिलै देख्ने तर फोहोर नगर्न आग्रह गरिएका बोर्डहरुचाहीँ खोज्दै हेर्नुपर्ने हुन भएन । एउटा निश्चित मापदण्ड बनाएर फोहोर हुने सबै ठाउँहरुमा एकैनासका बोर्डहरु राखौँ जसले गर्दा पर्यटकीय नगरीको सुन्दरतामा पनि कुनै कमी नआओस् । अनि ती बोर्डहरुमा पनि कारवाही र जरिवानाको चेतावनी भन्दा मानवीय संवेगलाई छुने खालका वाक्यांशहरु लेखियो भने बढी प्रभावकारी होला जस्तो लाग्छ । कसैकसैलाई चेतावनीकै आवश्यकता पनि पर्ला । सेतीमा फोहोर हुने दुईओटा श्रोतहरु देखिन्छन् । एक, सेती हेर्न भनेर आउने पर्यटकहरुबाट र दुई, स्थानीय मानिसहरुबाट । पर्यटकहरुलाई माथिको तरिका उपयुक्त हुन्छ भने नगरवासीलाई रेडियो, टेलिभिजन तथा पत्रपत्रिकामा सूचना तथा विज्ञापन प्रकाशन प्रशारण गरेर सचेत गराउन उपयुक्त हुन्छ । धेरै ठाउँमा टोलविकास संस्थाहरु छन् । अहिले राखिएका सूचनाबोर्डहरु पनि तिनै संस्था तथा विकास समितिको नाममा राखिएका छन् । तर कुनै एक दुईओटा वडा तथा टोलले आफ्नो क्षेत्रमा पर्ने ठाउँमा मात्र नदी सफा राखेर स्वच्छ सेतीको कल्पना गर्न सकिँदैन । धेरै माथितीर अड्किएका र बगेर आउने फोहोरले नदीलाई दुषित बनाइराख्छन् । त्यसैले माथिदेखि तलसम्म सबैको सहकार्य र समन्वय आवश्यक छ । एउटा एउटा वडालाई वातावरणमैत्री वडाको रुपमा विकास गर्नुभन्दा पनि समग्र नगरलाई नै वातावरणमैत्री नगरको रुपमा विकास गर्दा राम्रो होला । कसैमा पनि, मैले सेतीमा नै लगेर फाहोर फाल्नुपर्छ भन्ने मानसिकता पक्कै पनि छैन होला । फोहोर उठाएर लगिदिने निकाय नभएर, अथवा हुँदाहुँदै पनि समयमा फोहोर नलगिदिएर वा अन्य के कारणले गर्दा मानिसले नदीमा फोहोर फालिरहेका छन् त ? भन्ने कुरा पहिल्याउन सके र त्यसको संवोधन गर्न सके पनि फोहोर हुने क्रमलाई रोक्न सकिन्छ । धेरै मान्छेले फोहोर फाल्ने नबुझेरै हो । उनीहरुलाई राम्रोसँग बुझाउन सक्ने हो भने पनि नदी धेरै सफा रहन्छ । आफ्नै टोलबाट बग्ने नदीको, सफा हुँदाका फाइदा तथा राम्रा पक्षहरु र फोहोर हुँदा हुने हानीबारे राम्रोसँग जानकारी भए कसले पो फाहोर फाल्थ्यो होला र ? मुख्य समस्या भनेको, आम मानिसमा – त्यत्रो गहिरो खाेँचमा मैले अलिकति फोहोर फाल्दैमा के नै फरक पर्छ र भन्ने मानसिकता हावी हुनु हो । समाजका सचेत नागरिकले, नबुझेका मानीसहरुको त्यस्तो सोचाइमा परिवर्तन ल्याउन सहयोग पुर्याउने अपेक्षा गर्न सकिन्छ । नयाँ आर्थिक वर्षको प्रारम्भ भर्खरै भएको छ । पोखरा उपमहानगरपालीकाले सेती संरक्षणको लागी छुट्टै नयाँ योजना बनाएर लागु गर्ने हो भने सुनमा सुगन्ध हुनेछ । सञ्चार माध्यमहरुले सामाजिक उत्तरदायीत्व ( कर्पाेरेट सोसल रेस्पोनसिबिलिटी ) अन्तर्गत गर्ने कार्यहरुमा सेती संरक्षणका लागी सूचना तथा विज्ञापनहरु निशुल्क प्रकाशन प्रसारण गरेर सहयोग गर्न सक्नेछन् । अनि, फोहोर भइसकेपछि सफाई गर्ने चाहना भयो भने पनि संभव नहुने जनसहभागीता, बरु फोहोर हुनै नदिने कार्यमा संभव छ । तर, एक्लैले र कुनै एउटा मात्र काम गरेर यो संभव हुँदैन भन्ने कुरा सबैले बुझ्नुपर्छ । एउटै कामले पनि फोहोर थोरै त घट्ला तर यो दीर्घकालीन समाधान होइन । सबैलाई कुरा बुझाएर योजनाबद्ध रुपमा काम गरिनु आवश्यक छ । तर फेरि कतिपय अवस्थामा योजनाहरु बने पनि उचीत समन्वयको अभावमा ती योजनाहरुको प्रभावकारीता खासै देखिँदैन । तसर्थ, कुनै एउटा निकायले समन्वयकारी भूमिका निर्वाह गर्ने र सबै कार्यहरु तालमेल मिलाएर गर्ने हो भने यो काम कत्तिपनि गाह्रो हुनेछैन ।

तर, अरुले नदेख्नेगरि फोहोर फालेर, फोहोरलाई छोपेर वा सतहका फोहोरमात्र सफा गरेर नदी वा वातावरण स्वच्छ र सफा हुँदै हुँदैन । पुनः स्मरण गराऔँ – थोरै बढ्दै गएर नै धेरै हुने हो । सेतीमा भएको थोरै फोहोरलाई अहिलेदेखिनै ब्यवस्थापन गरेर धेरै फोहोर हुनबाट रोकौँ र सफाई अभियान चलाउनुपर्ने अवस्थासम्म नपुगौँ । किनपनि यसो भनिएको हो भने – यदि सेती नदी धेरै प्रदुषित भएर सफाइ अभियाननै चलाउनुपर्ने अवस्थासम्म पुग्यो भने, भूबनोटले गर्दा, सेतीलाई सुरुको अवस्थामा ल्याउने काम लगभग असंभव नै हुने कुरा सजिलै देख्न सकिन्छ । त्यो बेला आयो भने हाम्रा सन्ततीले पक्कै पनि हामीलाई धिक्कार्नेछन् । त्यसैले दूरदर्शी बनौँ । अहिलेबाट नै सेतीमा फोहोर फाल्ने काम बन्द गरौँ र अरुलाई पनि त्यसो गर्न अभिप्रेरित गरौँ ।

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