Fight for the forests and animals

    Nijgadh International Airport has been planned as a colossal project that would make it the fourth largest airport in the world if completed. The proposed location for the airport, however, requires massive deforestation in the eastern Tarai which would cause large-scale displacement of wildlife native to the area. A virgin forest sprawling over 8045.79 hectares in Province 2, Nijgadh is covered in Shorea Robusta (Sal) trees that are home to countless species including 33 different types of mammals, and over 300 plus different kinds of birds, all of which will be adversely impacted by the cutting of well around 2.4 million trees. The animals that reside in various parts of the chain will be impacted as soon as part of the balanced landscape is chopped off. The displacement of animals that will inevitably result from habitat degradation caused by the project may lead to conflict between animals and people who live in the peripheries of the forests, something the government is ill-equipped to deal with. Forests in Nijgadh act as an important corridor for large mammals like elephants, tigers and also for different vegetations and birds. Knowing about the fact of ecological damage the Environment Management Planning (EMP) has proposed a plan to plant twenty-five trees in compensation for each tree that is cut. However, it has not been specific about the technicalities of this afforestation programme. What kinds of trees will be planted and where they will be planted remain unclear. Let's assume that the government is successful in planting in the ration of 25:1 but will this proposed forest still be valuable as it is now? Where will the animals; birds and all the mammals migrate to? What is the point of development if there is no ecological balance? Should not the government think thoroughly before taking such decisions? Let us stand and fight against this deforestation. It is an ecological crime. We don't want the world's biggest airport. We want our species conserved. Let us be the voice for the voiceless.
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