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THE HIMALAYAN TIMES, TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011

TheHimalayan
T I M E S

Forests as green wonders
Nature at our service
GOVINDA BHANDARI

A THOUGHT

FOR

T O D AY

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. — Alfred Adler

L

To trust or to let rust
month has passed since the largest parties in the CA agreed to a conditional extension of the Constituent Assembly based on a five-point agreement. However, the five-point agreement is in limbo, despite being owned by the legislature-parliament in order to facilitate its implementation. The five point agreement called for extension of the CA for three months during which the basic tasks of the peace process, and the first draft of the constitution were to be completed; implementation of past agreements with the Madhesi front including making the Nepal Army inclusive; and resignation by the Prime Minister to facilitate formation of a national unity government. The two most problematic issues are completion of the basic tasks of the peace process and resignation by PM Jhalanath Khanal. A calendar for the peace process was drawn up by the Prime Minister and owned by the Special Committee. The Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants was scheduled to agree on the modalities, number and process for the rehabilitation and integration of the combatants. However, since the Special Committee was unable to meet the first deadline, a separate task force from the three major parties was formed and the deadline was extended to June 27. Now, even this deadline has passed and the SC is still unable to meet and decide independently. The key stumbling block, as it has turned out, is the internal squabble within the UCPN-M. Since the extension of the CA, there has been an intense conflict within the UCPN-M over issues related to the peace process. The source of conflict relates primarily to the series of decisions taken by the party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on arrangements in the constitution and the integration of combatants. The causes of conflict reflect increasing mistrust of the party’s leadership by other factions, differences over the party’s identity and ideology, and most importantly, the reluctance of the party to make a transition to democracy. The position taken by Prachanda is commendable in so far as he is sticking to the previous stand taken by the party over the modality for integration of combatants. Any new arrangement must be viewed from a new, peoplecentric perspective. The new arrangements must contribute to the national interests, serve the people and strengthen democracy. In that sense, if the arms handover to the government may sound like surrender to the Maoists, then an alternative could be to create a trustworthy arrangement so that it can be allowed to rust. Similarly, the leadership of the new directorate must be free from political patronage, supportive of democracy, qualified and professional. Similarly, in order for the parties to work together, and forestall possibilities of the CA not being extended on August 31, there must be a new power sharing arrangement, and more intense dialogue. The two most important steps will be for the UCPNM to move forward in favour of peace and constitution, and for Prime Minister Khanal to resign. The five-point agreement cannot, and should not be reinterpreted to serve partisan political interests, for the agreement is supposed to be a cure for that very political disease.

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The five-point agreement is in limbo, despite being owned by legislature -parliament to facilitate its implementation

ife on Earth is heavily dependent on the forest cover all around the planet. Besides the fact that these green wonders make the planet extremely good to look at, they also have a great many features that are performed by them, most of them which are pivotal to our growth, survival and sustenance. From the point of view of human life, they are very important as they provide a large array of resources that we use in our everyday life. Forests play the role of reducing the amount of water that comes across as run-off from the land surface. In lands where there is little or no forest cover, there is increased incidence of erosion of the soil and also increased probability of flash floods. Forests aid in the production of prolonged gradual run-off and are a good warranty against drought, and drought-like conditions.Through the process of evaporation and transpiration, the trees from the forest help in the process of absorbing heat from the sun. Forests are pivotal to the maintenance of levels of carbon dioxide and so, are necessary for the growth of lesser plants. Climate change is a problem

that is being faced all over the place. This is a problem seen at a growing variance in places where the forest cover is lesser. This proves that forests play an important role in preventing drastic climate change happening instantaneously. Forests are known to make the soil of a particular piece of land, much stronger, especially when the roots of the place go deep into the soil. They are especially necessary as they help the water to absorb into the soil rather than it being washed away. This is how the fertility of the soil improves to a greater extent. Forests are the reasons why the soil is capable of being intact and also developing new nutrients. They also help in the structuring of the soil. In this way, the soil’s natural capacity is maintained and without the help of external chemical features, the soil gets all its needs.Those living in regions close to the forests depend on a large scale on supplies that they can be procured from the forests. They are a necessary part of their live, becoming almost intrinsic to their growth. Locals also depend, in large part on forests, as most of the produce that they get is from the forest itself. The forest is the major

Forests are known to make the soil of a particular piece of land much stronger, especially when the roots of the place go deep into the soil.They are especially necessary as they help the water to absorb into the soil rather than it being washed away
source of food and subsistence for those who live in forest areas and in villages adjoining the forests. Most of their food is procured from the local plants, fishing activity in ponds and lakes, and also by hunting activity that is carried out in these regions. However, in the present day, a large number of forests areas are protected areas where hunting is a banned activity in most areas. However, in regions where tribes of people are dependent on hunting for their source of food and hence, life, hunting is still allowed in restricted amount in demarcated areas. The

forest area is also the region where the people from tribal regions and villages bring their animals for grazing or in order to collect fodder as feed. Villagers and people belonging to different tribes use wood and charcoal in order to gain heat and energy for all their different uses like cooking, cleaning etc. Logs of wood are burned throughout the night so that they provide heat to those residing in colder regions. People do not necessarily have to chop trees for wood, as forests are aplenty with sticks and twigs that fall from trees. Most of the people living in forest areas and villages surrounding them do not have houses made of brick and cement, but have houses that are built out of supplies that come from the forests like logs of wood, bamboo, etc. Local people collect timber from forests for household articles. These people have various uses for timber in their day to day life too. They make a number of articles from them.One of the best sources for fiber is the forest itself. Fiber is that material, which is necessary for weaving baskets, nets, ropes, string, and other articles of everyday life. Forests are

also the region where agriculture or the production of silk through silkworms take place. Forests are also the places where the controlled breeding of honeybees for honey takes place. These bees are also important for the pollination of crops. Forests are also known to be the source of plants that are used for medicinal purposes. There are a vast number of plants and herbs that are found in the forests, and we are always finding new species of plants that could possibly be the source of cure for ailments that do not have one yet.All of the products that have been mentioned earlier are also, in many regions traded and exported to other regions generating income and leading to development.Even small products like wood, gum, fruit and fiber have big uses in the bigger markets. These products are found extensively in forests and heavily wooded areas. The collection of these substances leads to the emancipation of many people from the region. Besides, products like wood for paper pulp are indeed so essential that they are a major source of livelihood for a great number of people. govindabhandari84 @yahoo.com

• TOPICS

Demanding love
REKHA ACHARYA hen my friend Rohan fell for a neighborhood lass, he was so deeply in love that he did not realize that she was manipulating him for her own selfish ends. The bubble burst when he overheard a conversation between his girlfriends with her friend. When the latter congratulated her on getting such a fool, she confessed that she was always putting forward conditions for anything he wanted. Rohan was shell-shocked when he inadvertently heard this callus talk for his beloved girlfriend. The scales fell from his eyes and for him she was just what she was-a scheming woman, who did not have any of the qualifications of a loving wife and mother. He realized that marrying such a self-centered girl would create dishar-

• BLOG SURF Chew on it

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mony in his home and unhappiness all around. After all, a loving relationship is based on being accommodative and giving, wisely, he decided to move away from her. Sadly though, many girls have the immature idea that they can have the upper hand in a relationship of love if they set conditions and demands. Such tactics often backfire. Most men seek a tender and loving girlfriend and not a calculating gold digger who is bent on getting the most out of them. Much of the girl’s attraction lies in her gentle and loving nature.When she chooses a man and realizes she loves him dearly, she should do this unconditionally and unselfishly. This does not mean that she should give in to all his demands. But she should be sincere and honest with her feelings and not put on airs, act high and mighty

and make the man do her slightest bidding without any consideration for his capacity or feelings. Since the love between the girl and boy is supposed to be the bulwark of their future life together, it should have commitment and real concern for each other. It is not a business arrangement where one partner needs to be at an advantage, or where there is room for suspicion and mistrust. It is a different ball game altogether. A meaningful life can result only from the experience of love in our life, we should not stain the beauty of love with bargaining and conditions. Love means thinking more about the other person’s needs than our own. Love is giving, and giving generously, without hope of reward. Only then will it last a lifetime, and through illness and health, till death separates the lovers.

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hewing gum can improve memory, say UK psychologists. They found that people who chewed throughout tests of both long-term and short-term memory produced significantly better scores than people who did not. But gum-chewing did not boost memory-linked reaction times, used as a measure of attention.”These results provide the first evidence that chewing gum can improve long-term and working memory,” says Andrew Scholey of the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK. “There are a number of potential explanations - but they are all very specula-

tive.”One third of the 75 adults tested chewed gum during the 20-minute battery of memory and attention tests. One third mimicked chewing movements, and the remainder did not chew. The gum-chewers’ scores were 24 per cent higher than the controls’ on tests of immediate word recall, and 36 per cent higher on tests of delayed word recall. They were also more accurate on tests of spatial working memory.” — newscientist.com

• CARTOON

• CREDOS

The neurotic — VII
R
eason finally became helpless in the grip of her phobias. Her stomach lining was “destroyed,” and into this “raw stomach” only the rarest of foods and those of her own preparation could be taken. She had fainted at Fred’s funeral, and repeatedly became dazed, practically unconscious, at the mention of his name. Self-interests had held her attention from girlhood to her wreckage, and from this grew self-study, which later degenerated into self-pity. Her converse was of food and feelings and self. She bored all she met, for self alone was expressed in actions and words. Father and daughter finally, under the pretext of a trip for her health, placed her in a Southern sanitarium. Much was done here for her, in the face of her protest. Illustrative of the unreasoning intensity with which fear had laid hold upon her was her mortal dread of grape-seeds. As she was again being taught to eat rationally, grapes were ordered for her morning meal. The nurse noticed that with painful care she separated each seed from the pulp, and explained to her the value of grape-seeds in her case. She wisely did not argue with the nurse, but two mornings later she was discovered ejecting and secreting the seeds. The physician then kindly and earnestly appealedfor her intelligent cooperation. She thereupon admitted that many years ago a neighbor’s boy had died of appendicitis, which the doctor said was caused by a grape-seed. The fallacy of these earlyday opinions was shown her. Then was illustrated the weakness of her faith and the strength of her fear. She produced a draft for one thousand dollars, which she said she always carried for unforeseen emergencies, and offered it to the doctor to use for charity or as he wished, if he would change the order about the grapes.

Enforce ban
T
he ban on plastic bags below the size of 20 micron was imposed by the government a decade ago. However, this requirement is in paper only and openly ignored. Now Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has attempted to enforce the ban in the premises of Singha Durbar and he had given instructions to that effect, but by all accounts this has not been heeded and virtually nobody appears to take it seriously. These plastic bags are harmful to the environment and thereby humans. There are alternatives to the black plastic bags like white ones which can be recycled and are thicker as well. Meanwhile, the ultimate goal is to ban black plastic bags that are polluting. That the concerned have not succeeded in doing so even after the ban was imposed a decade ago is a serious lapse. It is high time that this ban was taken up earnestly. We should all practice what we preach. The needed action should be taken and those not complying with it should receive due punishment.

• LETTERS Country in crisis
Owing to the Government’s inability to conduct its affairs, this country is passing through a state of lawlessness. For one thing, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal is not in a safe and sound position in the Government. He is staying in the Government as a stop-gap prime minister. His own party colleagues are not happy over his virtual “non-performance”. The opposition parties are continuing to lambaste him for his failures on multiple counts. Khanal is the most ineffective prime minister in the country’s recent day history. He himself seems to realize this point as becomes clear from his repeated statement about his preparedness to quit office,

although he adds a rider to it when he says he will resign the moment the parties reach a national consensus on concluding the peace process. As of to-day, the country is passing through a crisis-like situation. There is no sign of peace and security prevailing in the land. The media is awash with news of arson, loot, abduction, rape and murder. Far from curtailing such ugly incidents, in their number, the authorities and political parties are keeping themselves unconcerned about them. In certain cases such as the infamous case of the attack on a newspaper correspondent, Khilanath Dhakal, by the prime minister’s party activist Parasuram Basnet, the NCP-UML top brass, including party President and Prime Minister Khanal, have remained virtually indifferent. Instead of

the Government helping the victim it has even turned a deaf ear to its own Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister K.B. Mahara’s request to Khanal to arrest Basnet. Worse yet, the Government has not taken any action against another party don Mahesh Basnet who is shading attacker on Dhakal. Yadav Khanal, via e-mail

Safety measures
Road traffic accidents kill an estimated 1.3 million people and injure 50 million people per year globally, and global road fatalities are forecast to reach 1.9 million by 2020 Therefore high safety measure has to be implemented in Kathmandu’s traffic system. Nepalese traffic safety management seems to rely heavily on building overhead

bridges to control road accidents. But this strategy is not enough, in the Nepalese traffic system; huge improvement is needed in order to properly implement required traffic safety measures. Road safety aims to reduce the harm (deaths, injuries, and property damages) resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Broadly, the strategies to be implemented for safety measures are design and implementation of national road

safety policies, adequate and stable financing for road safety measures, better road systems with particular regard to vulnerable road users, public awareness on the major risk factors, more first aid training in schools, proper training of professional drivers, better hospital care for road victims, support to disabled people, development of an internal road safety culture for traffic staff and volunteers, implementation of

public awareness campaigns on safe road use, and the provision of first aid courses for new and professional drivers and the general public. A city should be user-friendly to its inhabitants and for this purpose a high degree of safety measures is required. Sidewalks for pedestrians are the most important element of safety measures. A city that is safe and friendly to pedestrians and bicycles almost certainly is a safe city in regard to traffic. Ashish Gajurel, Munich, Germany

Appreciation
The revolutionary students affiliated to the UCPN (Maoist) have demanded sending all the kids of their party leaders to the state supported public schools. I

appreciate the revolutionary students for their attempt in closing the gap between the preaching and the practice of their leaders who seem to be non-proletarian white-collar careerists of the proletarian party. Most part of the state funding in education is wasted and is harmfully misused to destroy the future of the millions of the youths of the country. The coming budget of the Government of Nepal should allocate all the spending under education as loans accessible to any student that should be paid back with interest in installments when they start earning. Laxmi Narayan, Kathmandu
Letters to this column should be addressed to Letters C/o Edit Page Editor, The Himalayan Times, Post Box 11651, APCA House, Baidya Khana Road, Kathmandu, Nepal email: edit@thehimalayantimes.com, Fax 0977-1-4771959

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