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Ministry outlaws tree-cutting

KATHMANDU, MAY 26 -

Cutting, selling and export of trees and other forest products for commercial purposes has been banned in community and government managed forests.

A high level meeting of officials of the Forest Ministry decided to prohibit the felling of trees for commercial purposes in the wake of rampant forest encroachment and timber felling by smugglers.

The ministry has instructed the district forest offices of 74 districts to stop the felling, sale and export of trees and other forest products until its team prepares a final report after investigation into cases of rampant felling of forests in the Tarai and other parts of the country.

According to Prakash Sayami, acting director general of Department of Forests, deforestation and encroachment is going on at an alarming rate in forests in the Tarai and Chure regions, mainly in Bara, Saptari, Siraha, Rautahat, Nawalparasi and Kailali districts in recent months.

The ministry on Friday had suspended four forest officers working in Sarlahi and Panchthar on the charge of timber smuggling and promoting deforestation as well as corruption. Shekhar Kumar Yadav in Sarlahi, and Ganesh Kumar Karki, Ram Adhar Singh and Nilam Katawal in Panchthar were suspended.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Forest Products Entrepreneurs' Nepal, in a statement on Wednesday, urged the government to rollback its decision to ban the sale and export of forest products. Federation Chairperson Udhav Prasad Mainali said the government decision has affected local consumers who need forest products on a daily basis. In his statement, Mainali urged the prime minister to immediately scrap the decision and implement the ban only in those districts where deforestation is rampant.

Posted on: 2010-05-27 08:17


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