World Bank and Government should guarantee IPs rights

  • News Date: May 28, 2014 | Post By LAHURNIP

A conglomeration of indigenous organizations comprising of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), NGO -Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FoNIN), the National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), Lawyers Association for Human Rights for Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP), have all demanded that the Nepal government should recognize indigenous Peoples (IPs) with their special status and their role in all deliberations of REDD in the country.

According to IP leaders and representatives speaking during a national level consultative dialogue held in Kathmandu recently, opined that the IPs in Nepal have since primordial time been relying on forest resources for their livelihood and at the same time protecting the forest by establishing spiritual relationship with it. Therefore, being sole protectors of forest, the implementing agencies of REDD+ should take free and prior and informed consent(FPIC) and ensure meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples, before launching any REDD related activities in line with ILO convention 169, UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples (UNDRIP).

The World Bank had approved a proposal from Nepal on Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) activities in 2010 and granted a total amount of US$3.4 million to Nepal government. The other bilateral donors include DFID, SDC, Finland and USAID, including Japanese government. Since then the government has been launching this program in collaboration with Community Forest Users Nepal ( FECOFUN).

The indigenous activists criticized the recently devised different REDD+ strategies without consultations with the indigenous communities who are the major stakeholders of REDD+ program.

Speaking during the program, Dinesh Kumar Ghale from LAHURNIP said, “We doubt that the World Bank and its promoters are truly concerned about our rights. Many of our indigenous people still live in forest.”

“We have been claiming that REDD+ should not threaten our right to land, territories and resources that indigenous people have been relying on these forestry and lands, prior to arrival of migrants from South,” said Negendra Kumar, the Chairperson of NEFIN.

Written by : Hit