Environmental degradation has become a burning issue in the modern world. The exploitation of the environment has increased in recent years with the increase in population, land encroachment, unmanaged infrastructure construction, rapid urbanisation and higher growth of industrialisation. Climate change, an outcome of environmental degradation, has led to major environmental disasters. The rise in temperature, natural calamities, loss of habitats, difficulties in availing safe drinking water as well as a threat to life and livelihoods have their direct bearing on environment.
Many governments, international agencies and concerned authorities have been burning the midnight oil to reduce this degradation, but to no avail. Nepal, which is a country nestled in the Himalayan range, has lately found itself at the receiving end owing to the debasement of ecosystems and environmental degradation. Rapid urbanisation has caused the thinning of its once lush thick forests and shrinkage of water bodies. The greedy merchants, who have been eyeing rich forest resources and river-borne products, have made the matter worst for us when it comes to protecting our ecosystem and overall environment. As if these were not enough, the global impact of climate change has given us nightmares. This crisis has turned many of our Himalayan mountains snow-less while the incidents of drying up of snow-fed rivers and lakes have affected our surroundings, lives and livelihoods. Many of our ecosystems, including Chure Hill and Bagmati River and other forest and water ecosystems, have receiving a blow owing to higher exploitation for commercial purposes. All these crises have called for strong measures to protect our environment and restoration of our ecosystems.
Governments must enact laws and rules by following the advice that environment experts have put forth when it comes to bolster our ecosystems and protect our environment from degrading further. Experts say that governments must make a thorough scientific study before the construction of the development projects such as hydropower and road to protect ecology. Since most of the natural ecosystem has been converted into artificial places, infrastructures, cities and towns, it may not be possible to restore them to their original form. However, we can lessen the impact of the loss of such a system by planting trees in the cities, replanting and repairing wetlands. All kinds of ecosystems such as forests, farmlands and wetlands can be restored by adopting scientific ways while rivers, ponds, lakes and beaches can be cleaned to preserve and boost the ecosystems.
Since a healthier ecosystem with richer biodiversity provides greater benefits - more fertile soil, bigger forest products and larger storage of greenhouse gases - the government must enact and enforce strong laws and regulations to protect our ecosystem. Ecosystem protection is vital for a country like ours, where fertile land can soon turn into barren, fallow areas if the loss of ecosystem continues. The importance of the protection of the ecosystem and environment has also been highlighted through World Environment Day that falls on June 5 every year. This year the day was marked with the theme, ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’ Our government would do well to serve the country and people if it works to realise this theme carrying out environment and ecosystem protection and restoration activities throughout the nation.