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Tuesday, 27 March, 2001, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Forests shrinking in Nepal

Forests in Nepal are shrinking because of the demand for wood for fuel, and to create space for farmland.

A report published today by the Nepali government and the United Nations Environment Programme said forest cover fell nine per cent between 1979 and 1994.

It said the deforestation presented a major environmental challenge for the country, as cutting down trees on hillsides caused landslides and flooding.

The report called for serious efforts to check the clearing of forests. UN officials said more recent statistics were not available.

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