Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized Guff-Gaff program on November 16, 2022.The guest speaker for this session was Dr. Naya Sharma Paudel, Executive Coordinator at Forest Action, Nepal. He gave a talk on the topic “Re imaging Conservation for Nature and People”.
Dr. Paudel started the talk by stating that the practices from last 5 decades have made people to perceive conservation in a much narrowed way. He highlighted that the whole human civilization is almost against nature in terms of conservation. Therefore, some experts and school of thoughts have put forward that nature should be conserved beyond human, their civilization, and cultural practices. Giving the example of US, he indicated that the devastation of nature due to the massive scale development interventions during the late 19th century made people cautious which lead to the conservation initiative of distinct nature. Our whole conservation practice is based on law enforcement as if poaching/ illegal hunting is the main reason but the reason is far beyond poaching as observed in loss of elephant population.There are various flaws in fundamental level of conservation. Dr. Paudel pointed that the first flaw lies in the separation of people and nature while conserving nature since it is perceived that human and their practices are against nature and the second flaw is the existing social inequity. He further added that when the focus of conservation initiative is carried out in a certain geographical territory, then automatically the mindset, policy programs, and debates are only limited to that area and the resources beyond that geographical territory is neglected. He ended his talk by highlighting that the re imaging of conservation is only possible with justice, fairness, and human rights and the current wildlife centric conservation should be changed to life centric conservation. The talk was followed by a discussion session where Dr, Jhamak Bahadur Karki, Vice Principal of Kathmandu Forestry College added some of his views on conservation followed by questions from other participants. Lastly, the program ended with closing remarks from EGH coordinator.