Interview at Chame

I was better today, but still a bit weak. We walked down to the local Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) office where we met Sherjung Gurung, the local conservation assistant. At short notice Sherjung managed to call in Tashi Dhindu Lama, Chairman of the Forest Management sub-committee in Chame. He talked about declining snow levels and the importance of forest conservation. He saw good and bad things with less snow. Less snow and higher temperatures means more crops can be grown and more grass for grazing. But bare rock is not good, it makes the mountain gods unhappy, it makes those local people who respect and understand their environment unhappy.

“I don’t think less snowfall means good, because what would become of these mountains if there is no snow? The name ‘Himal’ (mountain) will have no meanings if they lose snows, the name will be lost in future. Also most of the foreigners from all over the place appreciate these snowcapped mountains and for us also they are the symbols of good fortune. But if these mountains have no snow cover then the very essence of these mountains will be lost. We will be heartbroken if such things happen.” Tashi Dhindu Lama, Chairman of the Forest Management sub-committee in Chame
“I don’t think less snowfall means good, because what would become of these mountains if there is no snow? The name ‘Himal’ (mountain) will have no meanings if they lose snows, the name will be lost in future. Also most of the foreigners from all over the place appreciate these snowcapped mountains and for us also they are the symbols of good fortune. But if these mountains have no snow cover then the very essence of these mountains will be lost. We will be heartbroken if such things happen.” Tashi Dhindu Lama, Chairman of the Forest Management sub-committee in Chame

They’re doing their best to protect the forest but the pressures are great. This interview inspired me and gave me real confidence that all the challenges of this journey so far would be worth the effort. I felt much better as we walked from Chame in the morning sunshine, with pine forest around us and stunning mountains above. We reached lower Pisang in good time.

Every day we saw tree cutting activity for firewood

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