Wednesday February 26, 2020
Home Lead Story Environmental...

Environmentalist Evaluate The Mistakes That Bhutan is Making

Mountain Echoes literary festival is an initiative of the India-Bhutan foundation and Siyahi, a Jaipur based literary consultancy agency.

0
//
Rivers flowing in Bhutan. Image source Wikimedia commons

Conservation of the environment is one of the four pillars of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness philosophy but “the greatest mistake” the Himalayan nation can make is “to live in isolation”, Daniel C. Taylor, who has been engaged in social change and environmental conservation for over four decades, said here on Saturday.

Taylor was speaking on “Environmental Justice: Questions For The Future” on the closing day of the Mountain Echoes literary festival. Using a powerpoint presentation, the well-regarded environmentalist behind the creation of two massive national parks around Mount Everest, one in China and the other in Nepal, explored the various stumbling blocks in the path of conservation.

Bhutan has mandated environmental preservation in its Constitution and preserves 60 per cent of its land under forest cover. But it is sandwiched between India and China, arguably among the most polluting countries in the world.

Responding to a question on similar lines, Taylor contended that Bhutan should not live in isolation.

He said that pollution and degradation of environment is not limited to one country or one region alone. “It is an ecosystem,” he said, elaborating at length how pollution arising from China or India could have impacts on Bhutan.

On its part, Bhutan is a carbon-negative country and home to the highest percentage — more than 51 per cent — of protected land in Asia.

 

bhutan
The challenge for Bhutan is to work with both India and China. Pixabay

 

“The greatest mistake that Bhutan can make is to remain isolated. The challenge for Bhutan is to work with both India and China. At the same time, it also needs to work with the world.

“Bhutan has to take an active role in teaching the world about environmental justice because you have done tremendous work in conserving the natural habitats in your country,” said the 71-year-old.

Taylor said that India and China “are themselves countries in disruption” and thus there was a great deal that the landlocked nation can impart to its neighbours.

Directly referring to China, he said that he worked there for several years and saw the wide-ranging impacts of its policies on the environment.

He pointed out that being so close to the China and India, Bhutan would see implications of pollution arising from its neighbours despite its enormous forest cover.

“We are all riding one giant ball called Earth, which is headed into a future — a future which may be frightening. What each of us can do is teach each other,” Taylor said.

Bhutan
Being so close to the China and India, Bhutan would see implications of pollution arising from its neighbours despite its enormous forest cover.

In his 45-minute session, Taylor also presented some rare photographs, audio and visual clippings of his journeys through the Himalayas.

Comparing two photographs — one taken during his first visit to the Paro valley some 60 years ago and the other taken just four days ago — he showed that the forest cover increased in the Paro Valley, despite the construction of the Paro International Airport.

Also Read: Asian Farms Tackle Drug Resistance with Apps and Dictionary

“No country is developed or underdeveloped. All countries are developing. Aeroplanes, better homes along with more trees should be the future,” he contended.

Mountain Echoes literary festival is an initiative of the India-Bhutan foundation and Siyahi, a Jaipur based literary consultancy agency.

The ninth edition of the festival will reach its culmination on Saturday evening. (IANS)

Next Story

Know About the Updated Travel Advisory by CMAAO Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Travel abroad? Make your will, be ready for 14-day quarantine

0
Coronavirus
The Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) issued an updated advisory for travelling due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Pixabay

In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has taken over 2,600 lives in China, the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) issued an updated advisory for travelling.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

According to K.K. Aggarwal, President CMAAO, “if you are travelling abroad, keep the possibility of being quarantined for 14 days in any country.”

Travel advisory is divided into four levels: Level 1 on all countries — Exercise normal standard hygiene precautions, Level 2 in all affected countries — Exercise a high degree of caution, Level 3 all countries with secondary cases — Reconsider your need to travel and Level 4 in affected parts of China and Korea — Do not travel.

Coronavirus
The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday. Pixabay

“Carry at least 20 days of extra essential medicines stock. Always keep the passport, kept in a plastic pouch, in a safe front pocket, with you in case if you want to leave the country,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal added that always carry authentic medical prescription with you with generic names of the drugs, and carry dry fruits as well.

He also suggested that always book a refundable air ticket even if they are 10 per cent costlier.

“Get travel insurance and make sure that you have an up-to-date will, an enduring power of attorney,” CMAAO President said.

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China.

Also Read- U.S. President Donald Trump Announces Military Deal With India

“For Level 3 warnings — like India and Singapore — travel only if it is a must and minimise time spent in airports or leave the area if you feel uneasy,” Aggarwal said.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (12), South Korea (eight), Italy (seven), Japan (five), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one). (IANS)