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Environmental Impact Assessment of Industrial Development Around Lumbini, the Birth Place of Lord Buddha, World Heritage Property
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Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha lies in the district of Rupandehi, which falls in the Western region of Nepal. It is a World Heritage Site (inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage list in 1997 during its 21st Session) and is a destination for pilgrims and visitors from Nepal and around the world. As a World Heritage Site, owing to its cultural, spiritual and religious values, Lumbini is the pride of Nepal and has the potential of becoming a major source of revenue for the Government of Nepal. The areas from Bhairahawa to Lumbini have been for many years a verdant region of fertile farmlands with paddy and wheat fields and plantations of various vegetables and mustard. It also provides a good habitat for flora and fauna. However in recent times, the scenario has been changing rapidly due to an increasing number of industrial sites in the area. The communities in the region are still involved in farming but rapid changes are creating an extremely hazardous situation for all forms of biodiversity and also for the World Heritage Site (WHS) in the region1. In the last ten years, this region has witnessed a significant increase in the number of industrial establishments and the area in the periphery of the highway from Lumbini to Bhairahawa has the potential of becoming a major industrial zone. Environmental pollution from existing and the growing number of industries has increased noticeably and had an adverse effect on the environment surrounding the World Heritage Site. An awareness campaign, including a petition of environmentalists, has alerted civilians as well as environmental conservationists to take positive action for its protection and conservation. The ongoing industrial growth possesses a threat to the archaeological remains in Lumbini (the Kenzo Tange Master Plan), and the other archaeological sites surrounding Lumbini, namely Tilaurakot and Ramgram. Both Tilaurakot and Ramgram are included in the UNESCO tentative list for inscription onto the World Heritage List. The master plan covers an area of 5 ml x 5 ml which was approved by the UN and the Government of Nepal in 1978. Rapid industrial development could see the World Heritage Site of Lumbini surrounded by a cement production industrial park thereby creating detrimental environmental pollution that threatens the very existence of Lumbini. The expansion of industrial development at this site is creating a very serious threat to the archaeological and religious value of Lumbini. This unplanned industrial expansion also poses a very serious barrier to the sustainable economic development of surrounding local communities. In view of the threats to this particular WHS, UNESCO Kathmandu has provided financial support to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Nepal) in order for it to undertake an environmental impact assessment
of the area.

#EnvironmentalImpact #AssessmentOfIndustrialDevelopment #Lumbini #BirthPlaceOfLordBuddha
Publisher:
UNESCO, IUCN ,   (2013 )
Type / Script:
Annual Report in English
Keywords:
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS, ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION, ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY,SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS ACTIVITIES, BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT, ARCHAELOGICAL DEVELOPMENT, SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Thesaurus:
03.03.00  -  Environment
Reference Link:
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