A two day workshop on the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Preparedness Fund was organized by NEFIN in Kathmandu from 15th – 16th September 2012. This National Preparatory meeting/interaction program is part of the Asia –Pacific Indigenous Peoples Dialogue with FCPF to be held in Thailand. The objectives of the meeting are twofold, 1) to raise awareness of the Indigenous peoples (IPs) in FCPF readiness fund and on the common approach to environmental and social safeguards, and 2) to explore and collect feedback, recommendations and position of the IPs in REDD+ process and present and compile them in the upcoming Asia Pacific Indigenous Peoples Dialogue with FCPF in Chiang Mia, Thailand. The two day meeting saw a coming together of 108 participants representing different IPOs, CSOs, I/NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. Documentary shows, technical sessions with presentation, panel discussions and in depth interaction were significant in making the two day workshop meeting very fruitful. The most notable outcome of the workshop was the draft position paper on the rights of IPs in the REDD+ process, which was formulated with an active participation and discussion of and with the IPs.
The first day of the workshop was commenced with a documentary show on CC and REDD issues and discourses, highlighting how IPs are one of the most vulnerable groups to be affected by CC; how forests help mitigate the effects; several national and international discourses and updates on CC and REDD; and the work of NEFIN CC REDD Program so far. Then Mr. Navaraj Lama, facilitator for the workshop, welcomed guests to the dias namely, Rajkuma Lekhi (Chairperson, NEFIN), Ang Kaji Sherpa (General Secretary, NEFIN), Pasang Dolma Sherpa (Program Coordinator, NEFIN CC REDD Program), Khim Ghale (Journalist, Kantipur Daily) and Nimi Sherpa (chairperson, Nepal Indigenous Women Federation) , Suresh Ale Magar (ex CA member and founder member of NEFIN).
Introduction of the participants was followed by a welcome note by Ang Kaji Sherpa who emphasized three main issues – 1)for IPs, it is not enough to know just about CC and REDD but it is equally important to also advocate the issues relevant to CC and IPs vigorously in public forums. Since floods, avalanches and other natural disasters impact mostly IPs who are close to nature and their livelihoods depend on nature, all these indicators of CC impact to IPs should be carefully studied and monitored and analyzed because a perspective based on detail study and analysis will eventually strengthen and validate the IPs issues; 2)IPs should focus on formulation of laws to mitigate CC, forest conservation because this will eventually affect them in future. An ethical principal should prescribe how the fund under FCPF be effectively used so that it at least benefits IPs since lot of organizations are getting this fund on the guise of IPs name; 3) publication is widely in English and Nepali which the IPs from remote village do not understand or have an access to it but since REDD program has radio program in 20 districts which reaches IPs in the villages, it’s extremely important to claim continuation of this radio program.
Pasang Dolma Sherpa then shared the program Objectives stating that since 2009 this program was initiated in Nepal and in 12 other countries. Currently, discourses are underway at the national level on the policies regarding CC and REDD and since Nepal is one of the 37 countries eligible under FCPF, it is extremely important that IPs rights are ensured under it and so the program will shed light on where the IPs stand, how will they benefit and the issues under FCPF at large. Nimi Sherpa (Chairperson, NIWF) spoke about the lack of awareness among IPs regarding the effects of CC which has been improved a bit by this kind of programs but she felt that it needs to further reach especially women at the grassroots level. She hoped that a working paper including issues of women and rights of IPs will be prepared from this two day program and extended her felicitation extended in achieving this goal from the program.
Suresh Ale Magar noted that CC is related to nature and nature is linked with IPs so any policy or laws regarding nature will surely affect IPs whether negatively or positively. So this kind of program is extremely important and everyone will be benefited from the working paper and outcomes of this program. He expressed best wishes for the program citing that incompletion of the constitution which had envisaged an ethnic based federation, unfortunately affected IPs mainly because it would have subsequently protected IPs rights including the rights the program talks about under CC and REDD. Raj Kumar Lekhey reiterated the objectives of the program which is to build awareness on FCPF and IPs role in it and the discretion that IPs should follow. He also said that the outcome of the program will be a position paper which will be discussed with multistakeholders including ministries and other relevant organizations.
With the end of the formal opening statements, Pasang Dolma Sherpa presented an overview of the FCPF which is a fund based mechanism to mitigate forest degradation and carbon emission and gave details of the many international meetings, conferences and agreements under FCPF including Cuna Yala, Panama meeting and Cancun agreement (COP 16). Dandu Dhokpyo then highlighted the FCPF and its Readiness Preparation Process. He stated that NEFIN is working in 3 layers, one in grass root level providing contextual clarity on the concepts of CC, REDD, and REDD + where district based resources persons have been generated. Another level is on UNDRIP and ILO 169 mainly FPIC ToT on a regional level (advocacy level) and third level is on advocacy and discussions at national as well as international levels with a position paper. He then went through the PCPF Readiness Preparation Process which include assessing the country’s situation in regards to deforestation, forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests, and relevant governance issues; Identifying REDD+ strategy options; Assessing key social and environmental risks and impacts regarding to REDD+; designing a monitoring system to measure, report and verity the effect of the REDD; and developing a management framework to mitigate the potential risks and impacts. He also pointed out the environmental and social safeguards, disclosure of information and grievance mechanism in FCPF. He further added that FCPF emphasizes effective and meaningful representation to which he cited an example that REDD Cell did not have representation from NEFIN before but since the formation of REDD working group under the cell, representation from NEFIN, and Dalit and other relevant organizations have been included. This has created awareness among IPs on the updates and the tasks that the GoN is undertaking in regards to REDD and if any tasks are in contrast to IPs interests, IPs now can contest it and put forth their issues and concerns.
Kamala Thapa Magar presented guidelines and ToRs for environmental and social management frameworks (ESMFs) and Strategic and Environmental Social Assessments (SESA). She pointed out that both these documents are mandatory if any country is to be part of the FCPF. Tunga Rai provided an overview on the Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness with a focus on the engagement of IPs and forest dependent communities. He informed that REDD+ preparedness goes through three layers and that Nepal is in the preparedness phase which includes FCPF which will fund 3.4-3.6 m but it should mandatorily follow guidelines for SESA and ESMF and for ensuring engagement of stakeholders. Mohan Sing Lama then went over the FCPF guidance on disclosure of Information which has 4 layers; what is to be disclosed, party responsible for disclosure, disclosure medium and time of disclosure. He then requested the participants to provide recommendations or reflect on the position paper on how best one can ensure that this information is managed and disseminated well or on any improvements to be made. The final presentation was by Khim Ghale who provided an overview of the FCPF guidelines for establishing grievances and redress mechanism at the country level. He pointed out that grievance mechanism is to be established and functional at the early stage of RPP and that this is a good platform for IPs and other stakeholders of the REDD+ to forge complaints, and provide feedback on REDD preparedness activities.
The second day started with a documentary show on the GoN’s efforts on CC and REDD followerd by the official opening of the 2nd day, chaired by NEFIN Chairperson, Raj Kumar Lekhy; Dr. Keshava Man Shakya, minister (MoEST); Dr.Krishana Chandra Paudel, secretary (MoFSC); Krishna Gyawali, secretary (MoEST); Apsara Chapagain, chairperson (FECOFUN) and; Pasang Dolma Sherpa, national coordinator (NEFIN CC & REDD)
Pasang Dolma Sherpa recapped the program objectives and 1st day sessions which was followed by the declaration of the Position paper (annex 1) by Indira jimee Yakha. Apsara Chapagain, chairperson of the Federation of Community Forestry Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN) Chairperson extended felicitation to the two day program which came out with a good position paper which reflects and clarifies several issues. She stated that Climate change and forest are very much interlinked so whoever has been safeguarding and using the forest for a long time (local people, women, IPs etc.), their rights should be ensured. She agreed that IPs are the ones who are closest to the forest and nature but even among IPs, women’s participation should be encouraged even in programs like this. She pointed out that there are many national policies and laws being formulated and extended support and cooperation in ensuring representation of IPs in those policies.
Secretary, Ministry of Environment Science and Technology (MoEST), Krishna Gyawali, noted that CC impacting everyone in all regions is just a myth. He informed that according to IPCC’s scientific study, the impact of CC is disproportionate in terms of the degree and scope of vulnerability. Vulnerable sections of the community are the ones to be affected the most mainly because of poverty so policy, action and strategy should also be designed accordingly. Since the needs are different due to different impacts, everyone including the GoN should mutually find a way to establish a balance and should collaborative move ahead to find solutions. At an international level, the GoN has established a negotiator group (collective and inclusive force) to negotiate for issues.
Secretary, Ministry of Forestry and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), Dr. Krishana Chandra Paudel, extended GoN support to the inclusion of IPs in forest related programs and activities. Dr. Keshava Man Shakya, Minister, MoEST stated that IPs perspective in REDD process is vital so partnership between IPs and GoN is essential. From his perspective, citizens and stakeholders are very competent, aware and organized but GoN is still not ready to address the changes or adjust to the changes. Raj Kumar Lekhy, NEFIN Chairperson concluded the opening ceremony with a request to the GoN to give special attention to FPIC in any park establishment and CC and REDD+ programs and consider the representation of IPs in any national and international seminars and programs under REDD+. He indicated the dismal states of those big projects that had come without any FPIC and so could not move forward without the support of the IPs. He confirmed that IPs are as much the citizens as any others of Nepal and that their movement is not directed toward any other groups but rather toward the GoN policies.
Pasang Dolma Sherpa started the technical sessions of the day with an overview of the FCPF including issues that emerged in Cancun (COP 16) and the services rendered under FCPF. She also shed light on the efforts of GoN and NEFIN in promoting CC REDD+ activities. She shared that GoN is developing indicators of social and environmental safeguard while implementing R-PP. During the first notice for public comment, NEFIN from the perspectives of IPs submitted its feedback and recommendation to incorporate it in the national REDD+ strategy. NEFIN as an umbrella organization of IPs and since it was not included in the development of NAPA and LAPA, it led a delegation in the MoFSC to ensure that NEFIN becomes a member of Redd Cell (national REDD+ bodies). However, GoN does not have REDD+ structure in the local level and that NEFIN is only one IPs’ organization represented in REDD structure. As a member of the REDD Cell, NEFIN’s voice has been heard in REDD Cell. The cell has rights to endorse every activities related to REDD+. Despite that, IPs sometimes have challenges to reach the local voice to central level and from centre to Redd Cell. Given the fact that of the total of 13 members in REDD Cell, NEFIN is only one member representing IP’s, it has a challenge to endorse the issues in the cell and unstable politics in the country and the frequent change of REDD Cell chief, hinders them to reflect indigenous voice in the REDD+ process.
Next, Resham Dangi, REDD Cell Chief, thoroughly went over the R Package with its concept, elements, road map, and challenges. He said that R-Package contain three phases including development of national strategy at the 1st phase, implementation of the national strategy at the 2nd phase and result based action with fully MRVed emission reduction. In order to get the R Package moving, lot of technical difficulties have to be overcome. In the process of developing the R Package, GoN is in R-PP implementation process. However, there has been very little initiation for awareness raising and information dissemination on REDD+. GoN has not been able to conduct awareness program because of lack of funds which the donors, committed to support the capacity building and awareness activities, has yet to provide for. In terms of formulating the national REDD+ Strategy, the government has an institutional set up/structure under the MoFSC and REDD Cell is drafting an outline Framework for National REDD+ strategy. They also made announcements for public comment on indicators of social and environmental safeguards. The GoN has also established a working with representation from different stakeholders including NEFIN. Dangi pointed out that GoN needs to focus on the structural part of developing the R Package while giving importance to the process since it has to be internationally accepted. In terms of National REDD+ readiness process, government of Nepal is in the following process.
Land use and forest policy analysis – on going
Strategic Analysis- on going
Implementation framework development -on going
Reference Scenario formulation- on going
MRV systems development- on going
Strategic environment and social impact assessment (SESA) – on going
Nepal is not at the position to say much on the above agenda. Only the completion of above activities reflects information on the above points.D R Khanal’s (FECOFUN) presentation on the development of safeguards in REDD+ process reflected Nepal’s initiation on national safeguards in REDD+ process. He stated that safeguards are required measures to prevent potential harm and maximize hazards. He emphasized that knowledge and rights should be balanced together without prioritizing one over the other and indicated lack of documentation of traditional knowledge which might create a challenge in moving ahead with the safeguards. He then urged everyone to practice and adopt full and effective participation terminology while also regarding biodiversity safeguards. He also pointed out that the position paper should include SIS.
The final presentation by U Manandhar, WWF highlighted the approach and position of Nepal to REDD Market. He connoted the carbon market as being similar to the share market with demand and supply sides and a potential to crash. He then talked about three existing carbon market namely compliance market, voluntary market and fund based market. He indicated that FCPF is based on the fund based market developed by the World Bank (WB). He informed that among all three markets, compliance market under UNFCCC has the longest process and unclear frameworks so the safer bet is either voluntary market or fund based market.
Comments, Feedback and Recommendations
REDD Cell reports that they had three regional and a national consultation meetings with IPs about the Framework of National REDD Strategy. However, indigenous peoples in the regions are not informed well, meaning that they had very little information and consultation in the regions.
GoN has a Website and has produced diary and dictionary of CC and REDD terminology but all the materials are not accessible and effective for IPs in the grassroots level. Language barrier is another issue NEFIN suggests government to address while producing such materials.
The GoN and other stakeholders are requested carefully go over the position paper.
There should be a district based REDD Cell inclusive of NEFIN
GoN should take responsibility in building capacity of the locals including IPs to minimize the gap they have to reach carbon markets since 80% of REDD fund invariably goes to the local communities.
REDD fund is provided for net metric ton change in carbon. REDD fund will be provided based on the efforts to bring marginal change in carbon. Therefore, REDD’s aim is to protect what we have, safeguard biodiversity, and a sustainable management of forests so that resources could be utilized while creating an environment where other services are rendered as well.
Thorough consultation and FPIC should be comply with while bringing any CC REDD+ related programs and activities even at the village level.
Outcome of the workshop program/national preparatory meeting
Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN’s) Position on the Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Policies Related to REDD+ Process
September 15 and 16, 2012 Kathmandu
Bearing in mind that Indigenous Peoples are the native sons and daughters of the land of Nepal and the first and the most to be affected by the impact of Climate Change, particularly indigenous women and children,
Taking into account that Nepal’s ratification of the International Labor Organization Convention on Indigenous Peoples No. 169 and voting on the UN Declaration on the rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),
Giving special attention to the potential impact of REDD+, developed to mitigate the effects of CC, on the economical, social and cultural settings of the IPs
In the Context of IPs being the first right holders in the REDD+ process, the following declaration is presented in order to proceed the REDD+ process with the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of the IPs at all levels of the REDD+ process in Nepal.
Regarding recognition of the rights
As the concept of REDD+ is related with land and forest, Indigenous Peoples rights and control over their ancestral land and forest related resources should be established and their symbiotic relation to land and forest should be recognized while the policies on land and forest are being revised
Indigenous Peoples’ traditional collective ownership and rights should be recognized since IPs have been collectively owning, managing, and controlling their ancestral land and utilizing its resources since time immemorial.
Duly implementation of rights prescribed under ILO Convention No. 169, which Nepal ratified, and under UNDRIP, of which Nepal is a signatory, should be ensured.
IPs customary laws and traditional practices on land and resource use should be rightfully recognized.
Carbon rights should remain within the IPs since they are the first right holders to land and forest resources.
IPs’ traditional knowledge, skill and governance system has sustainably conserved and managed forest resources therefore, their rights to continue practicing of those knowledge, skill and governance systems should be ensured.
IPs livelihood, cultural and spiritual beliefs are attached with land and forest related natural resources therefore, they have the right to unreservedly perform activities related to their spiritual and cultural beliefs.
IPs have the right to information on decisions made at all levels of REDD+ process. Information should be provided in a language that IPs understand (mother tongue) and in and through different mediums.
Ensure equal and fair distribution of the benefit of REDD+. Ensure that the allocation of the benefits received from REDD+ will amply support the process of economic, social, cultural and education development of the IPs.
Local, regional and national level REDD+ programs and activities should have Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the IPs. It should be ensured that without FPIC, no REDD+ readiness or implementing activities should be conducted and organized. Inclusion of women, youths and marginalized groups should be ensured in the process of FPIC.
Agreements, related to safeguard policies, made in Cancun (COP 16) should be complied with in the REDD+ process in Nepal.
Full and Effective Participation 
Ensure and guarantee full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in REDD+ process at all levels (local, regional, national and international), governance system, and in institutional settings, respecting the processes based on consultation and free, prior and informed consent in accordance with the Cancun agreement. Special provisions should be set for the inclusion of Indigenous women, youths and marginalized groups.
IPs should be fully and effectively consulted and engaged in the formulation of structure and mechanism at all levels of REDD+ process. Special provisions should be set for the inclusion of Indigenous women, youths and marginalized groups.
Representative of IPs participation in the structure and mechanism at all levels of REDD+ process should be based on the IPs customary laws and practices, and on their own established system of selection. Special provisions should be set for the representation of Indigenous women, youths and marginalized groups.
Ensure full and effective participation and access of Indigenous Peoples in the Green Climate Fund and other funding resources and mechanism.
A provision for sufficient fund and resources, financial, and technology transfer support should be set for the awareness raising and capacity building of IPs in REDD+ process.
Ensure full, effective and institutional representation of Indigenous Peoples in the formulation of REDD+ SIS, SESA, and ESMF. Special provisions should be set for the inclusion of Indigenous women, youths and marginalized groups.
Ensure full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples by recognizing their knowledge and technology in the MRV process in REDD+ planning and activities.
Grievance Mechanism should be established in local, national and international level, ensuring full, effective and institutional representation and access of IPs in the Grievance Mechanism.