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23 Dec, 2021

NTNC and the President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board (PCTMCDB) have signed an agreement for the preparation of the 'Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation and Management Plan Revision'. The agreement was signed today at the NTNC central office between the member secretaries of the two institutions—Mr. Sharad Chandra Adhikary from NTNC, and Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal from the Chure Board (PCTMCDB)—in the presence of the NTNC Chairman Dr. Krishna Prasad Oli and board members of the Chure Board, including senior members of the two institutions.

The main aim of the agreement is to review and revise the existing Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation and Management Master Plan (BS 2074). Accordingly, the existing 20-year master plan is required to be reviewed and revised every five years based on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability by incorporating current issues and priorities. The Chure region of Nepal, is the youngest and southernmost mountain in the Himalayas, serving as the main watershed for the Terai plains in Nepal. It occupies 12.8% of Nepal's land in 36 districts, where some 5 million people reside, making it a remarkably rich area in biodiversity and natural resources, but likewise very sensitive.

Some of the new components in the revised five-year master plan will look to better address the severity of global climate change on the Chure-Terai Madhesh area, where fire hazards, landslides, floods have significantly increased in recent years; impacts of infrastructure expansion caused by increasing population, urbanization and development activity in the Chure region; long-term issues related to uncontrolled and unsustainable use of natural resources, like the extraction of sand, gravel, stone from the area; including accelerating land encroachment, human-wildlife conflict, and environmental injustices.

Together with focus on improved coordination, cooperation and co-existence between all three tiers of government and the region's local communities and primary stakeholder groups, a more qualitative assessment of upward/downward linkages and landscape connectivity of the Chure, Terai and Madhes with the middle and high Himalayas, better understanding of underground hydrology and fluvial sediments carried along by the rivers and streams flowing down from the Mahabharat and the Chure hills, including the conservation of inorganic natural resources (rock, soil, minerals, fossils, climate and water etc.), plus enhancing sustainable future economic opportunities in the region, will be important areas the new plan will sort to incorporate. The revised plan is targeted to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year in mid-July 2022.

Prior to this assignment, between 2016 and 2018, NTNC had carried out the first systemic faunal diversity assessment of the entire Chure region of Nepal on behalf of the Chure Board (PCTMCDB). Findings from the long-term study was published earlier this year.