Book review: Hands around Everest

National boundaries can serve as links rather than instruments of division -- so expounds this book. Cooperation between nations, it says, is the key to conservation of shared natural and cultural heritage.

 
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- Hands Around Everest: Transboundary Cooperation for Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods Compiled by: Frances Klatzal and Kate Hoffman International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development Nepal 83 pp

National boundaries can serve as links rather than instruments of division -- so expounds this book.

Cooperation between nations, it says, is the key to conservation of shared natural and cultural heritage. The case in point is that of the Mt Everest Himalaya region, lying along the border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Apart from being an ecosystem with diverse animal and plant life, the area also houses "more than 110, 000 people who share a common cultural heritage". Transboundary cooperation for conservation needs to focus its attention on issues as varied as poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products, cross-border spread of livestock diseases and forest fires and the livelihoods of people inhabiting the region. The book summarises the history of conservation efforts in the region, and hopes to serve as the platform for formulation of effective strategies for cooperation. To sum things up, there is an appropriate quote from the 11th century Tibetan spiritual leader Milarepa -- "Snow, rock and clay mountains are my hermitages...If this appeals to you, please join me."

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