Seven-point declaration issued to stop illegal extraction of riverbed materials from Karnali River

KATHMANDU : A declaration was issued in Chisapani of Kailali district on Tuesday to stop illegal mining of riverbed materials and to develop the wildlife-friendly environment.

Issuing the declaration, the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (Nefej) during the round table conference expressed its commitment to scientifically manage the extraction of pebbles, sand and gravel.

“We are ready to stop the haphazard extraction of riverbed materials in the Karnali River. We are ready to control the negligence carried out while preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) reports and their implementation,” the seven-point declaration read, adding, “We have reached an agreement to give permission to extract the riverbed materials based on the report prepared by completing the due process. We will take action against those who tried to extract the river materials illegally.”

Far-Western Province government spokesperson and Minister for Law and Internal Affairs Prakash Bahadur Shahi, Chairman at the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee of the same province Harka Bahadur Kunwar (Govinda), Chairman at the Forest and Environment Committee Bijay Bahadur Yadav and Far-Western Province lawmaker Chun Kumari Chaudharu, among others, had signed the declaration.

The round table conference had decided to give priority to the indigenous communities like Raji, Sonahi and Badi among others and to protect their occupation, language and culture, and had also decided to formulate policy according to the same.

“In addition, we will try to make collective efforts to prevent and control any kind of activity that can hamper their livelihood,” the declaration read

Natural disaster affects women, children, elderly people and disabilities more than others. “We will keep their benefit in priority while formulation a policy to reduce the disaster,” the declaration further read.

“All the stakeholders have even forged consensus to make any kind of development projects environment and wildlife-friendly,” the declaration said. “We will comply with the environment conservation law while carrying out development works.”

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