(NEPAL) World Environment Day 2011 Celebrated in the Demonstration Area of NEFIN

Participants of the plantation program

Lamjung District lies in the Gandaki Zone of Western Development Region. It is an ancestral land of Indigenous Gurung Communities. Lamjung is also inhabited by other indigenous communities like Tamang, Magar, Newar, Hyolmo, Bhujel, Chepang, Kumal and Dura. Indigenous Peoples’ occupy more than 70 % of the total population of the district. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities has been entrusted by its partner organization Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA) to carry out a case study on “Traditional Practices and Customary Governing System of Indigenous Peoples’ for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management” in Khasur Village which is the demonstration area of NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program since 2010.

As a part of the awareness raising campaign and as well as to celebrate the World Environment Day (WED) 2011; NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program, District Forest Office, District Agriculture Development Office and District Soil Conservation Office, Lamjung jointly organized plantation program in the areas adjacent to Janajaagriti Secondary School of Khasur Village. 123 participants participated in the plantation program.

Mr. Homnath Thapaliya, Chief District Officer; Mr. Jamindraman Ghale, Chairperson of Communist Party Nepal (UML) of Lamjung District; Mr. Sudip Bhandari, Deputy Superintendent of Police; Mr. Kishor Prasad Pantha, Senior Officer of District Agriculture Development Office; Mr. Diwakar Maskey, Officer of District Soil Conservation Office; Mr. Ram Kaji Shrestha, Officer of District Forest Office; Mr. Saroj Pandey, Officer of District Energy Office; Mr. Bal Bahadur Thapa Magar, Chairperson of Nepal Magar Association, Lamjung; Ms. Amrita Chepang, Chairperson of Chepang Association; Mr. Nanda Bahadur Ghale, Prinicipal of Janajaagriti Secondary School; Mr. Prithviman Ghale, Chairperson of Khasur Community Forest; Ms. Prem Kumari Ghale, Station Manager of Radio Marsyangdi; Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network (CCMIN) Officer; other guests; villagers and school students attended the celebration of WED; and planted 1000 saplings including Laakuri (Fraxinus Flori Founda), Lapsi (Cheroxbonpondix Axilaris), Rittha (Spinbux Muaoroxi), Bagaino (Melia Azedarapx) and Chaap (Miphelia Phampata).

Most of the speakers in the program stressed on the importance of healthy forests for our quality life; the urgency to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation; and also highlighted on the dire need for adaptation against climate change. Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, CCMIN Officer shed light on the impacts of climate change and implications of REDD on indigenous peoples’.  The celebration of WED is fruitful in three ways. First, tree plantation program provided the platform to convene major stakeholders to interact on the issues Climate Change and REDD for the first time in the district. Second, Indigenous Peoples’ of Khasur Village and its neighboring villages were informed about the issues of the ongoing climate disasters during the program. Third, plantation of 1000 saplings to celebrate the WED themed “Forests: Nature at Your Service” with the participation of Indigenous Peoples’, Indigenous Peoples’ Leaders, District Senior Officers and students and the commitment shown by the villagers to protect and conserve the planted saplings is laudable.


Nepal: Training on Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program in coordination with NEFIN District Coordination Council (DCC), Lamjung organized one day training on Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights on 10 May 2011 at Beshisahar in Lamjung. The training was conducted under the chairmanship of Mr. Khem Jung Gurung, Chairperson of DCC, Lamjung. The main objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples’ on Climate Change, REDD and ILO 169. In addition, political leaders and representatives from government agencies were also invited in the training in order to make them aware about indigenous peoples’ issues and rights

Read more: Nepal: Training on Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Nepal: Training in the districts of Mid-Western Development Region

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program in coordination with its District Coordination Councils (DCCs) organized training and consultation program in the four districts; namely; Dang, Banke, Bardiya and Surkhet. Likewise, consultation with indigenous community of Kuchbaadiya was also carried in Banke district.

Mr. Raj Kumar Lekhy, Chairperson of NEFIN, Ms. Pasang Dolma Sherpa, National Coordinator of Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program and Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network Officer visited the four districts of Mid-Western Development Region from 8-13 March 2011.

The first presentation, “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples” in each district, except Banke, was made by Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network (CCMIN) Officer. In Banke, Mr. Dambar Thapa Magar, Chairperson of NEFIN, District Coordination Council (DCC) presented on the said topic. The presentation articulated the fact that indigenous peoples are not responsible in disturbing the climate system but indigenous peoples’ are confronting with the negative consequences of climate change. The presentation highlighted on the impacts of climate change faced by indigenous peoples of Nepal. For instance, Ghogi, the traditional food of indigenous Tharu communities is getting extinct due to lack of moist land. It has been proved scientifically that Ghogi contains the highest amount of protein in it. Ghogi, which used to be available in the water of swampy land throughout the year, is hard to get now, even during rainy season. Likewise, indigenous Sherpa communities are at high risk from the glacial lake flood outburst, caused by global warming. The presentation also included the national and international undertakings to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. On one hand, indigenous peoples are affected the most by the impacts of climate change; while on the other hand, climate change solutions might too affect indigenous peoples. So it is very crucial that indigenous peoples organizations remain watchful to avoid the possible impacts that all climate change solutions bring in the future.

The second presentation on “REDD and Indigenous Peoples” was made by Ms. Pasang Dolma Sherpa, National Coordinator of NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program. Ms. Sherpa vividly explained the importance of forest in combating the impacts of climate change and its cultural attachment among indigenous communities. She underscored on the necessity for indigenous peoples’ to know about the mitigation and adaptation activities that may interfere with their rights. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which has emerged as a measure to slow down climate change speed, have implications on indigenous peoples’. Ms. Sherpa successfully delivered the basic concept of REDD and REDD+ to the participants. She provided a clear picture of the challenges, risks and opportunities associated with REDD. The state should not remain indifferent toward the concerns of indigenous peoples in climate change and REDD issues. Ms. Sherpa urged the participants to raise their voice strongly in any programs in the districts in order to pressure the government agencies to ensure their full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the process of climate change and REDD+. On the other hand, she also pointed out the possibility of ILO 169 and UNDRIP to be implemented in the country because of REDD+ but indigenous peoples must continuously pressure, lobby and advocate strongly their positions that should be addressed by the upcoming REDD strategy.

The comments and suggestions given by the participants during the training are given below:

  • § The awareness programs should not be limited to the central and district levels. As the implementation of the program will finally be in the local level, more and more capacity building and awareness programs should be focused in the community level.
  • § Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities should develop the climate change and indigenous peoples’ knowledge center so that any peoples whether they are indigenous or non-indigenous can easily receive the required information as per their convenience.
  • § Indigenous peoples are facing the adverse impacts of climate change due to the sins committed by the industrialized nations. Therefore, the compensation from the developed and industrialized nations should be given directly to the indigenous communities.
  • § Indigenous women stand in the front to bear the brunt of climate change.
  • § It is not bad, if we are getting the money for the sustainable forest management that we have been doing since hundreds of years. But our forests should not be seen as a mere commodity and REDD should not any how interfere with the traditional practices and livelihood of indigenous peoples’. Besides, we should gravely contemplate on whether the REDD money in the long term will motivate indigenous peoples to become parasites or not.

The table illustrates the male and female participants during training and consultation:

S.N.

Districts

Male

Female

Total Participants

1

Dang

41

13

54

2

Banke

38

32

70

3

Surkhet

28

13

41

4

Bardiya

63

17

80

5

Banke (Kuchbaadiya Communities )

19

12

31

6

Grand Total

189

87

276

The participants of the training extolled the efforts of NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program to aware indigenous peoples on the issues that every country of the globe are deliberating on and also suggested the partnership program to lobby, advocate and pressure the policy makers to ensure the position of NEFIN regarding climate change and REDD in the REDD strategy.

Glimpses of the training and consultation in the Mid-Western Development Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participants of the training conducted in Dang District on 9 March 2011















Participants of the training conducted in Banke District on 10 March 2011














Participants of the training conducted in Surkhet District on 11 March 2011















Participants of the training conducted in Bardiya District on 12 March 2011















 Kuchbaadiyaa communities of Banke District participating in the consultation, on 13 March 2011

Lakpa Nuri Sherpa
Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network (CCMIN)
NEFIN-Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program (www.nefinredd.org)

Nepal: District Level Trainings on Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples’

Participants of the training organized in Sarlahi District 

Background

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)-District Coordination Councils (DCCs) of Udayapur, Siraha, Saptari, Rautahat, Ilam, Morang and Dhankuta districts organized district level training on “Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples” with the support from NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program. The main objectives of the training were to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of indigenous leaders who have already participated in the National Training of Trainers (ToT) and give birth to Indigenous trainers in the national level
  • To build capacity of indigenous peoples of the districts and villages on climate change and REDD
  • To disseminate the updated information and knowledge on Climate Change and  REDD in relation to Indigenous Peoples’

In order to meet the given objectives, Mr. Raj Kumar Lekhy, NEFIN Chairperson, Ms. Pasang Dolma Sherpa, National Coordinator of NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program, and Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network (CCMIN) Officer of the Partnership Program visited the districts for the trainings, except Dhankuta and Ilam Districts. In Ilam and Dhankuta, trainings were organized by the respective DCCs independently.

The training in each district covered the presentations on “Climate Change and its Impacts on Indigenous Peoples” and “REDD and the concerns of Indigenous Peoples”. The presentations were complemented by the video on “Climate Change and REDD”. The participants were supplied with reference materials on Climate Change and REDD published by NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program. The presentations and discussion were focused on the following topics:

  • Explanation of Weather, Climate and Climate Change with relevant examples
  • Causes of Climate Change/Source of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
  • Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples of Nepal
  • International Negotiations of Climate Change and the participation of Indigenous Peoples’
  • Anchorage Declaration
  • Evolution and Explanation of REDD/REDD plus
  • Positive and Negative Aspects of REDD plus
  • Contentious issues of REDD plus
  • Positions of NEFIN on Climate Change and REDD
  • Statements of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)
  • Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program and its activities

Output of the Trainings

Indigenous leaders, women, youth, students and journalists of the districts and villages had participated in the trainings. Most of the participants were unknown to the issues of climate change and REDD but they actively participated in the discussions. The participants have realized the causes of irregular rainfall and erratic flash floods are the consequences of climate change. In addition, they have internalized that indigenous communities are the main victim of the impacts of climate change along with the challenges; risks and opportunities faced by indigenous peoples’ in the national level Climate Change and REDD process. During the training, the participants were also informed about the initiation of NEFIN Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program for the advocacy and lobby in the development of indigenous friendly national REDD Strategies in Nepal. The support from the local and district levels is equally important to put the pressure on the relevant government agencies to ensure the rights of indigenous peoples’ in the REDD Strategy.

Recommendation

One day training in a district is not sufficient and it is highly recommended for the comprehensive trainings on “Climate Change, REDD and Indigenous Peoples” in the coming days both in district and village levels. The participants have also recommended for the alternative ways for information dissemination where indigenous peoples’ do not have electricity facility.

Number of Participants in the trainings

S.N.

Date

Districts

Male Participants

Female Participants

Total Participants

1

15 April 2011

Udayapur

32

2

34

2

16 April 2011

Siraha

113

28

141

3

17 April 2011

Saptari

89

24

113

4

18 April 2011

Rautahat

56

11

67

5

23 April 2011

Dhankuta

52

24

76

6

27 April 2011

Morang

62

29

91

7

29 April 2011

Ilam

26

14

40

8

Grand Total

430

132

562

Indigenous Peoples’ Grand Cultural Festival in Lamjung

 

Lamjung is an ancestral land of indigenous Gurung communities, who have historical, traditional and cultural attachment with their land, forest and water resources. Lamjung is inhabited by indigenous communities of Gurung, Tamang, Magar, Newar, Hyolmo, Dura, Bhujel, Chepang and Kumal. Indigenous peoples occupy more than 70 % of the total population of Lamjung district. A week long indigenous peoples’ grand cultural festival started at Beshi-shahar in Lamjung on 9 Feb. 2011. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), District Coordination Council (DCC), Lamjung is the main organizer of the festival. This is the first time in the history of Nepal that indigenous peoples have become the main organizer of the district level grand festival. 150,000 visitors are expected to visit the cultural festival.

The first day of the cultural festival was more about the inaugural ceremony of the grand cultural festival. In the first day of the cultural festival, thousands of indigenous peoples representing various indigenous peoples’ organizations participated in the rally that started at 1 PM. Mr. Khem Jung Gurung, Chairperson of NEFIN, DCC, Lamjung, Mr. Ang Kaji Sherpa, General Secretary of NEFIN, Chandra Kala Gurung, Chairperson of National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF), Mr. Prithvi Man Gurung, Chairperson of Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationals (YUFIN) and many indigenous leaders representing different indigenous peoples’ organization addressed thousands of indigenous peoples present in the inaugural ceremony.

Khasur Village, the demonstration area of NEFIN-Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program also participated in the rally. Indigenous peoples of the demonstration area marched in the rally displaying play cards with the positions/stands of NEFIN on Climate Change and REDD. NEFIN in partnership with TEBTEBBA under the partnership project “Ensuring Rights Protection, Enhancing Effective Participation Of and Securing Fair Benefits of Indigenous Peoples in REDD-Plus Policies and Programs” is doing research on the “Indigenous Peoples, Traditional Forest and Natural Resource Management” in the demonstration area.

One of the attractions of the festival is “Indigenous Village” where traditional houses of Gurung, Tamang, Magar, Newar, Hyolmo, Dura, Bhujel, Chepang and Kumal communities are built together to give a glance of indigenous peoples traditional houses of the Lamjung district.

There are various stalls of indigenous peoples’ organizations, NGOs, community radio, organizations working on agricultural sector and neighboring district’s industries and business organizations. There is also a stall of NEFIN-Climate Change and REDD Partnership in the festival. The partnership program has participated in the festival taking it as a good platform to increase awareness among indigenous peoples about climate change, REDD and the concerns of indigenous peoples’. On the second day of the grand cultural festival, thousands of visitors attended the festival. It is highly encouraging to see the indigenous peoples’ taking keen interest to know about climate change and REDD in relation to indigenous peoples’. Besides providing the oral information on the rights of indigenous peoples, climate change and REDD; the partnership program also distributed booklets, brochures, posters and REDD books to the visitors. The visitors have tremendously appreciated the efforts of NEFIN-Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program. Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network Officer explicitly explained why there is dire need for indigenous peoples to be aware on the issues of climate change and REDD, during his interview at Community Radio, Marsyangdi FM, 95 MHz In addition, he requested to all the indigenous peoples of the district to visit the stall of climate change and REDD partnership program.

From Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa

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