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Indigenous Peoples in the Fore Front of Climate Change Impact and Key to Climate Solutions: Awareness Raising Event in Gandaki Province

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

NEFIN Climate Change Partnership Program organized a three day‘s Sub-National Level Training-Workshop on Climate Change’ in Pokhara from December 20 to 22, 2022.The main objective of the event was to build awareness and advocate for ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples in climate action. A total of 40 participants (20 women and 20men) including resource persons attended the event (this number does not include resource persons who were connected in virtual manner). Participants was inclusive of indigenous activists, leaders, women, youth, journalist, students, people with disabilities. They represent different institutions namely NEFIN’s Federal Council of NEFIN, Province Coordination Council (PCC), District Coordination Councils (DCCs) and Village Coordination Councils (VCCs), National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF), National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF-Forum), Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN), Nepal Indigenous Disable Association (NIDA), National Indigenous Disabled Women Association (NIDWAN), NGO-FONIN and Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Journalist (FoNIJ), Nepal Indigenous Nationalities Students’ Federation (NINSF), and the local government/ rural municipality chair and word chairs.

Mr. Chhetra Bahadur Thakali, the vice-chairperson of the NEFIN inaugurated the training-workshop in an indigenous way of opening events, followed by indigenous national song. Mr. Dharma Bahadur Gurung, the chairperson of NEFIN- Gandaki/ Gandaki PCC welcomed the participants. In his welcome remark, Mr. Gurung stressed the need of advocacy for the rights and issues of indigenous peoples in programs and projects of Nepal government. Mr. Tunga Bhadra Rai, Director at NEFIN Climate Change Partnership Program and lead trainer of the event highlighted the objective of NEFIN Climate Change Program and of the event itself being conducted in partnership with International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)was that indigenous peoples’ rights in climate action are promoted, protected and safeguarded at local and national level in Nepal as well as internationally such as at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The event focused on the context of climate change, an overview of UNFCCC, climate mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, REDD+ and REDD+ benefit sharing plan of Nepal, Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Nepal, climate finance, GCF, GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy, GCF projects and country programing in Nepal, and the draft Forest Regulation-2079 of Nepal. Different experts and resource persons engaged in different entities and organization made presentation during the sessions. Participants shared their community experiences in context of Nepal’s conservation initiatives, hydropower projects etc.

Overall, the training-workshop was a successful event. It gathered representatives from 10 different districts of Gandaki Province and from1 district of Province-1.