There is no doubt that people, as well as the country, get benefited from economic development. Every project for the development will leave some sort of environmental impact or damage. Damage has to compensate in some ways in good time before it’s too late. This blog is mostly about what we lose before we actually gain anything from proposed Nijgadh international Airport in Nepal.
For the airport to gain good ranking, it should have enough national and international flights, proper and appropriate management, and infrastructures. And we have already witnessed the management and infrastructures of only operational international airport Tribhuwan international airport in Nepal. So I won’t hesitate to say that proposed Nijgadh international airport won’t be a hub unless we do something exceptional.
Let’s get into the most debated issue of the project. The deforestation.
Just before that, you can go through the report on The Himalayan Times which mentions the possible desertification of Terai in future with the current pattern of deforestation and haphazard use of land.
What will be the environmental impacts or what we will lose before any flight takes off?
- Nearly 770,000 trees would have to be cut down in the first phase, says Environmental Impact Assessment report for this project,
- This mass destruction of the forest is against Nepal’s international commitment at UNFCCC in 1992, at Kyoto Protocol starting 2005 to protect wildlife and the ecosystem,
- This project will result in an ecological disaster,
- Chance of extinction of local vegetation and endangered wildlife,
- Dry up water resources while causing a flood downstream,
- Destruction of livelihoods.
- “The economic value of oxygen lost due to deforestation for Nijgadh airport is approximately NRs 230 billion, and that is not counting the airport’s own carbon footprint”. A remarkable impact mentioned by Nepali Times.
- Another crucial consequence pointed out by Hans Andersen in LocalNepalToday “it will prevent 22,500 tons of carbon from being sequestered in the vegetation annually, which in turn will deprive Nepal of earning NRs160 million annually from the global carbon fund.” This is what authority might barely take into account.
- More impacts and losing factors before any flight takes off are also mentioned in this News Article.
What are the Challenges of this project?
The challenging task for this project is the requirement of planting 60 million trees replacing 2.4 million trees to minimize environmental impact. According to Aviation Nepal, to accomplish that scale of the plantation, 38,000 hectares of land is needed, for this purpose neighboring districts also have to be considered. In addition to that, to nurture that afforestation NRs 14 billion is needed as it suggests.
At the time when you are having a hard time taking care of the existing child, it’s not worth having more children. Unless you are financially capable and confident. The same thing applies to the requirement of more international Airports in Nepal too.
Nepal has a reputation for a Beautiful Country. Keeping up this esteem is only possible by maintaining it’s natural resources, wildlife, and forest. On the other hand, we must hand over a safe and healthy environment for our future generations. Economic development with the sustainable environment in consideration is what a responsible government and administration should care about. Additionally, every citizen should be concerned and speak out about the environmental impact and damage.