chapter  2
21 Pages

Development in the Face of Uncertainty ( 1 )

WithJack D. Ives

The small kingdom of Nepal occupies a critical position in the Himalaya-Ganges region. Thompson and Warburton have argued that the problem is one of ‘uncertainty on a Himalayan scale’ and that few facts are available. Much of the poor showing of agricultural production on the Terai is due to inadequate fertilizer inputs and to inefficient development of irrigation potential and unsatisfactory management of developed facilities. Bajracharya has made a detailed examination of the fuelwood/food dichotomy in relation to deforestation based upon extensive survey of a single panchayat in eastern Nepal. A large segment of our population, which resides in the Indo-Gangetic plains, is dependent on the Himalayan resources for its survival. Going beyond the limits of Nepal, Professor Peter Rogers contested the common stipulation that the Brahmaputra floods and siltation rates, as with the Ganges, are progressively increasing because of deforestation in the Himalaya. The very nature of the uncertainty is a large element of the ‘Himalaya-Ganges Problem’.