Nepal : local communities are fighting against the climate warming

Attendant in a charcoal shop. Nepal.

Decades of deforestation had decimated arable lands, reduced water tables and threatened the survival of communities totally depending on agriculture. 30 years ago in Nepal, nobody bothered about the forests. People used to cut trees to heat themselves and cook. And forests became more and more scattered. But in the 70’s, the Nepal government which had no mean to fight illegal deforestation started giving a sense of responsibility to the local populations so they preserve the forests themselves. Then, natives started planting trees and stopped to cut them.

30 years later, about 2.000.000 acres of forests are thriving under the control of rural communities. Most of the trees being acacias and pines, they absorb a lot of carbon dioxide contributing to reduce the climate warming in a country where climate change is already a reality. Because of the rise of the temperatures, Himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming speed, involving the formation of lakes which could collapse and flood the downstream villages.

In a poor country like Nepal, reforestation is a cheap solution to fight against the effects of the climate change like landslides, floods, erosion. Because deforestation contributes to about 20 % of the global emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Nepal intend to plant more trees. The government would like the forests cover in the long term 40 % of the territory instead of 27 %  actually. By this way, the country will profit of the help of the UNO. Indeed, the UNO program on the reduction of the emissions resulting from deforestation would enable the developed countries to pay the poor countries who are making efforts to plant trees.

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