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12 Nov. 2013, Warsaw, Poland
Thank you co-chairs, for this opportunity to speak on behalf of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC).
We would like to reiterate that most of the remaining forests in the world today, are found in indigenous peoples’ customary-owned or managed territories, lands and resources. Therefore, any decision on our lands and forests, should not in anyway, interfere to our fundamental rights. In this context, we would like to put forward the following recommendations:
We would like to express our serious concern regarding the pre-ambular paragraph on livelihoods in Annex 5. The term “livelihoods” inherently encompasses the ways of life of indigenous communities, therefore implying that traditional livelihoods “may be dependent on activities related to drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.”As many indigenous communities around the worldhave demonstrated that traditional livelihoods are not related to drivers of deforestation. Rather, indigenous peoples’ traditional forest conservation and management practices have contributed both to adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Our livelihoods need to be acknowledged as part of the solution, not part of the problem.Therefore, we would like to request the parties to rephrase the paragraph and make it clear that forest-related traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples do not cause deforestation.
Non-carbon benefits should be valued properly and should be defined within a human rights framework including respect and recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to lands, territories and natural resources. It must also take into account our unique world-views, traditional knowledge, customary governance systems and our immeasurable cultural and spiritual values.
The methodological guidance on non carbon benefits and Safeguard Information Systems (SIS) must respect, recognize and promote the community based participatory monitoring and information systems, including traditional knowledge, customary laws, forest management systems and practices of indigenous peoples. Technical assistance and capacity building must be prioritized and supported for indigenous peoples.
We are encouraged by the inclusion of REDD in the Green Climate Fund. We also note the presence of provisions for Safeguard and Grievance Mechanisms in the Governing Instrument of the GCF. We call on the parties to support our call that proper institutional representation and access of indigenous peoples to the Green Climate Fund as observers to the Board be put in place.
Finally, we urge REDD partnership to ensure that, all climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, strategies, actions and programmes respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to forests, land, territories and resources, in line with the international standards and instruments such as UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ILO Convention 169.
70. Encourages developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities, as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances:
(a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;
(b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;
(c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;
(d) Sustainable management of forest;
(e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks;
When undertaking activities referred to in paragraph 70 of this decision, the following safeguards should be promoted and supported:
(a) Actions complement or are consistent with the objectives of national forest programmes and relevant international conventions and agreements;(b) Transparent and effective national forest governance structures, taking into account national legislation and sovereignty;
(c) Respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities, by taking into account relevant international obligations, national circumstances and laws, and noting that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
(d) The full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in particular, indigenous peoples and local communities, in actions referred to in paragraphs 70 and 72 of this decision;
(e) Actions are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensuring that actions referred to in paragraph 70 of this decision are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are instead used to incentivize the protection andconservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits;1
(f) Actions to address the risks of reversals;
(g) Actions to reduce displacement of emissions.
Paying attention to the ratification of Indigenous Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO C 169) and adoption of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ( UNDRIP) by the government of Nepal,
Realizing the Anchorage Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change held in Anchorage Alaska in the United States of America,
Considering the fact that we the indigenous peoples are the communities who have direct symbiotic relations with the nature,
Keeping in mind the demands and claims of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, prerogative rights over natural resources and ownership and control over their lands that resulted from indigenous peoples’ continuous struggle from the past,
Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) declares the following points as a minimal concept of indigenous peoples of Nepal with regard to Climate Change and REDD:
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 Indigenous Peoples 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.
Indigenous Peoples customary laws and traditional practices on land and resource use should be rightfully recognized.
Carbon rights should remain within the Indigenous Peoples since they are the first right holders to land and forest resources.
Indigenous Peoples’ 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.
Indigenous Peoples’ 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.
Indigenous Peoples’ have the right to information on decisions made at all levels of REDD+ process. Information should be provided in a language that Indigenous Peoples 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 Indigenous Peoples.
Local, regional and national level REDD+ programs and activities should have Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Indigenous Peoples. 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
12. 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.
13. Indigenous Peoples 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.
14. Representative of Indigenous Peoples participation in the structure and mechanism at all levels of REDD+ process should be based on the Indigenous Peoples’ 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.
15. Ensure full and effective participation and access of Indigenous Peoples in the Green Climate Fund and other funding resources and mechanism.
16. A provision for sufficient fund and resources, financial, and technology transfer support should be set for the awareness raising and capacity building of Indigenous Peoples in REDD+ process.
17. 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.
18. Ensure full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples by recognizing their knowledge and technology in the MRV process in REDD+ planning and activities.
19. Grievance Mechanism should be established in local, national and international level, ensuring full, effective and institutional representation and access of Indigenous Peoples in the Grievance Mechanism.
The major objective of April uprising was to institutionalize secularism with republican set up, ending all forms of discrimination on the ground of sex, caste and ethnicity, color and creed. Needless to mention, the Jana Aandolan is a milestone in Nepal’s political history as it created the new avenues for addressing the long standing concerns of indigenous nationalities who have been sidelines under various alibis. Unfortunately, this has not happened. People’s aspirations for long lasting peace and sustainable development have been jeopardized as the political parties are engaged in power sharing and squabbling over trivial issues. It is very unlikely the jumbo Constituent Assembly will deliver the inclusive constitution in the extended period. So, on behalf of the indigenous nationalities, we express our deep concern over the failure of the political parties to deliver the constitution within the stipulated time.
Citing inadequate time for such tall task, the political parties have been shying away from the assigned responsibility. They have deliberately prolonged the transition as it has created a situation which has only benefited them. Such immoral activity on the part of the political parties has immensely saddened the people across the country. At this back backdrop, we would like to draw the attention of Nepalese across the country for exerting pressure on the government to deliver the constitution within given deadline.
Now, people have realized that the parties and their representatives have devoted their time for futile exercise which produced no tangible results. After the CA Election, the political parties have only been engaged in forming and dismantling the government. They hold discussions and meetings in the name of finding the permanent solution of the political impasse. Moreover, sign the agreement among the parties to form the coalition and subsequently lead the government. But to the most chagrin, they sidelined the major objective- the logical conclusion of peace process and drafting of the constitution- contained in the agreement.
On 15 Kartik 2068, seven point agreement was amongst the parties and address the contentious issues. Within few days of signing it, the agreement hit the snag. The hardliner within the Maoist hs opposed the del saying they were not taken into confidence while signing the seven point agreement. Hence the internal rift resulted after the deal with the part needs to be narrowed down for its honest implementation. The frequent political bickering for one pretext or other in parties have raised a serious questions over their intention to complete the twin tasks.
The major such as basis of restructuring of the state needs further discussion amongst the political parties, elected representatives and other major stakeholders. Few leaders representing the political parties cannot decide the fate of the state in terms of its restructuring and mode of governance. The active participation of people coming from indigenous nationalities, women, Dalits, Tharus, Madhesi and other vulnerable communities needs to be guaranteed in the constitution making process to make the constitution inclusive.
We, the representatives of diverse stakeholders from NEFIN, national level organization and federations, district based coordination committee, international forums and ex and incumbent government officials working in relevant areas among others, hereby declare that:
1. Government should make public the first preliminary draft of the upcoming and inclusive constitution
2. Constitution of Nepal should be named ‘Federal Democratic Constitution of Nepal’ as decided by the sub-committee of the constitutional committee.
3. Government should identify and clearly distinguish the point of demarcation between the ancestral domain and non ancestral domain.
4. Government should implement the past signed agreement with NEFIN and other concern stakeholders/ organization at the earliest.
5. The constitution made by the hand picked elites not undo the past injustices faced by the indigenous nationalities, Madhesi, Tharu, Dalits, Women among others. In the upcoming constitution, their concerns such as right to self determination, control over the resources and autonomous should be guaranteed.
6. Government should restructure the state on the basis of caste, language with right to self determination
7. Secular state, local self governance and federalism among others should be clearly mentioned in the up coming constitution.
8. Indigenous nationalities should be given full authority to control and mobilize the resources and reap the subsequent benefit from them. Government should also promote their access to Right to Information (RTI)
9. Except ministry of Defense, foreign affairs and finance, the other named and unnamed ministerial portfolios should be delegated to the province level.
10. Government should provide free education in local language upto higher secondary level
11. In proportion to caste and ethnicity population, government should implement proportionate electoral system.
12. Government should guarantee the traditional and conventional forms of governance to further consolidate the local governance.
13. The government should ratify the discriminatory laws against the indigenous nationalities and implement them as per ILO 269/UNDRIP
14. Government should allocate reservation for women coming from indigenous nationalities in proportion to their total population.
15. Similarly, the government should allocate reservation for youth belonging to indigenous nationalities in proportion to their total population.
16. The government should promote and protect the language of indigenous nationalities in the upcoming constitution
17. The government should scrap the provision to issues legal whip in the constituent assembly.
18. The government should ensure the proportionate representation of indigenous nationalities in the major organs of the state.
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