Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Climate Change Partnership Program organized a three-day ‘National Training of Trainers (TOT) on Advocacy and Lobbying about Climate Change and REDD+’ in Sauraha, Chitwan, on December 23-25.
Resource persons including Dr Pasang Sherpa, Mr Kiran Sunuwar, Mr Khemjung Gurung, Khim Ghale imparted the training to a total of 45 trainers from across the country. NEFIN Chairperson Mr Nagendra Kumar Kumal, Vice-Chairperson Roshani Meche, General Secretary Pemba Bhote Gurung and the Program’s National Coordinator Ms Pasang Dolma Sherpa, among others, also attended the program.
NEFIN Chairperson Mr Kumal, in his inaugural speech, expressed his opinion that it is high time the indigenous peoples have to advocate their issues and lobby for their rights over natural resources. Gender Officer Kamala Thapa stated the training’s objectives, which were to bring diverse IP voices to a common platform and empower IP leaders through the training so that they can advocate and lobby with varied stakeholders, including government agencies, for rights and concerns of IPs.
Dr Pasang Sherpa who edited the Advocacy and Lobbying Training Manual, explained about the contents of the book and asked for feedback. Ms Meche underscored the significance of advocacy and lobbying in establishing the rights of IPs, whereas Mr Sunuwar made a presentation on various international legal provisions such as the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ILO Convention No 169 and the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) procedure, stressing that these provisions are instrumental in advocating and lobbying for IPs rights. Mr Gurung and Mr Ghale during their individual presentations highlighted the issues of IPs issues and concerns in climate change through group work.
On day two, Mr Ghale, Ms Thapa Magar and Mr Debraj Chaudhary explained to the participants the characteristics, steps and cycle of advocacy and planning. They discussed about problem identification, mind mapping and problem tree analysis as initial steps in advocacy campaign planning. Likewise, Mr Sunuwar and Ms Thapa Magar dwelt on ways to craft advocacy campaign action plan and its monitoring, evaluation and feedback, whereas Mr Ghale made a presentation on the strategies, skills, and methods in advocacy campaigns.
On day three, Mr Chaudhary, Mr Gurung and Mr Sunuwar briefed the hall on the importance of building alliances/networks while advocating and lobbying for IP issues and rights, while Mr Ghale and Ms Meche gave their sessions on the use of media tools in getting the message out, and political flexibility and power demonstration for effective advocacy and lobbying, respectively. National Coordinator Pasang Dolma Sherpa gave the hall national and international updates on climate change and underscored the issues pertaining to IPs, before the program came to a formal close, with Mr Kumal giving away certificates to the participants.
Documentary films were also screened and refreshment programs were held intermittently. The training was conducted in a highly interactive and participatory manner, with a good deal of inputs and feedback being received from the floor.
The training was effective in producing a pool of resource persons with skills and understanding on advocacy and lobbying. It was an opportunity for local IP leaders and activists to get national and international updates on climate change and REDD+. Participants from various districts also provided a platform to share their experiences that would help them forge advocacy and lobbying strategies. Considering these outcomes, the program was highly successful in meeting its objectives. However, more such programs at the community level are highly recommended.
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