12 February 2021
Dozens of Magar Indigenous Peoples traveled to Kathmandu from Rukum and Baglung and visited LAHURNIP to take orientation on lands rights since the Dhorpatan hunting reserve has been violating their customary rights over their land territories and resources since its establishment.
The reserve was established in 1987 that covers an area of 1,325 km² in Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung Districts of western Nepal-the ancestral lands of Magar, Gurung, Chhantyal, Thakali Indigenous Peoples.
"We are in a painful situation as the Nepal Army and hunting reserve authorities are restricting us from entering our territories, and we are deprived of using our resources. We have been threatened to evict us from our lands. Thousands of Indigenous Peoples are going to be evicted from their lands. Therefore, we are here to take support to defend our land and resources", said the orientation participants. The affected communities are resisting the issues for the past 10 years.
Advocate Shankar Limbu, secretary of LAHURNP, has described the indigenous concept of lands and key provisions of ILO- 169 and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples related to lands including FPIC.
He talked about constitutional and legal provisions that are connected to land and resources. He described Article 51(b)(3) and 51(j)(8) of the constitution in particular that commits to implementing international treaties and agreements to which Nepal is a State party, and to ensure Indigenous Peoples their right to dignified life, identity, and participation in decision making processes that concern them.
Advocate Limbu has suggested the participants to be well organized and continue making demands of our rights to be respected.
He is committed, on behalf of LAHURNIP, to providing necessary legal and technical support to defend their lands.