Think Globally, Act Locally

Bikal Dahal

Environment is an essential component for all the living creatures of the world. All the living creatures depend on the environment for food, water and air for their survival. But the development process of the world marked by industrialization or modernization has caused severe depletion of this basic component. The rapid rise in the population of the world mainly in the developing countries increased pressure on the earth but the resources available for us is very limited and these can’t be increased. These pressures on the earth have caused pollution and deforestation while many places are in the state of desertification which has led to climate change. If these changes aren’t mitigated, then the life of the living creatures of the world of present generation will be ruined and the existence of future generations will be in risk. So many organizations of the world like World Wide Fund (WWF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are working in the field of environment, for its conservation and sustainable use.

Nepal is a very small country of the world occupying only .003 per cent of the total land mass of the world but it is very rich in case of natural flora and fauna. It is the second richest country in case of water resource. The elevation ranges from 57m Mukhiyapati to 8848m highest summit of the world Mt. Everest. In between these two points, the climate varies from sub-tropical to pure alpine. Because of these great variations of the climatic zones, the natural resources available in Nepal also vary greatly. So in case of biodiversity, Nepal stands in 25th and 11th position in the entire world and Asia respectively. But as in the whole world, modernization or development of the country has negative impacts on the natural components. Rapid increase in the population at the rate of 2.27 per cent has mounted pressure on the natural component. We all know development causes destruction. But development with proper conservation is to be considered. Many international, national as well as local level organizations are working in the field of environment conservation in Nepal.

There is a small organization inside the boundary of Institute of Forestry, Pokhara working in the field of environment known as Self Help Environment Awareness Camp (SHEAC) with the motto THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY. The Institute of Forestry was established in 1981. There was a project named Institute of Forestry (IOF) project which worked for 18 years inside the IOF. The 3rd president of this project named Dr. Renlick encouraged the students of forestry to establish the organization that would work in the field of environment. The funding of Dr. Renlick and enthusiasm of students of forestry brought into existence the organization named Self Help Forestry Promotion Camp whose main objective was to create awareness about the importance and benefit of environment and need of its conservation among the people.

At first this organization was active only inside the boundary of IOF. This is a registered non-governmental, non-political, non-profit organization which works with the financial support of other organizations. Various works like teaching and cleaning programmes were conducted in this phase. But there was a shift in the function of the organization 1996 when it was renamed as Self Help Environment Awareness Camp (SHEAC). After this, the organization started working not only inside the boundary of IOF but in the entire Pokhara valley. The publication of a yearly magazine THE GREENERY started in 1997 which was very effective in creating awareness about environment. Nationwide bicycle rally was held for the conservation of environment. Many plantation programmes were conducted inside or outside the boundary of IOF for green environment. Other small works like Tree Tagging for giving knowledge, dustbin replacement for clean environment were conducted. Local villagers were given training about the alternatives to fuel wood in coordination with mothers’ groups and youth club. Various school teaching programmes were conducted in many schools of Pokhara valley. In the forthcoming days SHEAC is willing to work much more in the field of the forestry not only in Pokhara valley but in different regions of the country. With the assistance of different organisations, its efforts will help in creating awareness about the need of environment and its conservation.

All the people should think about the importance of nature and join hands with each other for its conservation. Small efforts at the local level will help to change the thinking of people about the limitation of natural resources and its need for us. Our small effort in Pokhara won’t solve all the problems but similar efforts all across the world will go a long way to minimize the global problem. So all the people should unite put in effort to conserve the basic components required for our life.


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