Statement / Documents

  • Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)’s Position on the Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Policies Related to REDD+ Process

    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.

  • Second National Level Conference Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Declaration

    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.

  • Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples of the World to the UNFCCC COP 17

    We, the Indigenous Peoples of the world, united in the face of the climate crisis and the lack of political will of the States, especially the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, demand the immediate adoption of legally binding agreements with shared but differentiated responsibilities, to halt global warming and to define alternative models of development in harmony with Mother Earth.

    For decades, Indigenous Peoples have warned that climate change confirms that the harmonic relationship between humans and Mother Earth has been ruptured, endangering the future of humanity in its entirety. The whole model of civilization that began 500 years ago with the pillaging of the natural resources for profit and the accumulation of capital, is in crisis. The alternative is to change the system, not the climate, based on a new paradigm for civilization, Living Well with harmony between the peoples and Mother Earth.
    General Framework:
    • Recognize and respect the self determination of Indigenous Peoples, in particular our rights to territories and natural resources, in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    • Ensure and guarantee the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples at all levels, respecting the processes based on consultation and free, prior and informed consent in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    • Recognize, respect and strengthen the fundamental contribution of the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples.
    • Review the concepts of development based on the accumulation of wealth that emphasizes unlimited exploitation of natural resources.

    • We urge developed countries to agree on a framework of legally binding commitments on concrete

    greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction targets as the follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol that ends in 2012.
    • We propose emissions reductions of at least 45% to 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050.
    • Gradual elimination of the development of fossil fuels and a moratorium on new fossil fuel exploitation in or near Indigenous Peoples lands and territories, respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    • Shared vision for long-term cooperation must not be limited to defining the increase of temperature and the concentration of GHG in the atmosphere, but rather it must include in an integral and balanced manner a set of financing, technological measures on adaptation, capacity building, patterns of production, consumption and other essential issues like the recognition of the rights of Mother Earth to reestablish our harmony with nature.

    Technology Transfer:
    • Knowledge is universal and may not for any reason be subject to private property and use, and neither should its application in the form of technology. Developed countries should share their technology with developing countries.

    • Technology transfer and installation should be immediate, timely, free of any costs, in harmony with Mother Earth and free of conditions, whether they are related to already patented technologies or unreleased information.
    • Establish guidelines for creating a multilateral and multidisciplinary mechanism for continuous participatory control, management and evaluation of technology exchange. These technologies should be useful, clean and socially appropriate.
    • Establish a fund for financing and inventory of appropriate technologies that are free of intellectual property rights, especially patents that should be transferred from private monopolies to the public domain with free access and at low cost

    Adaptation and mitigation:
    • Guarantee respect, protection and promotion of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and sustainable livelihoods, including the cultural and spiritual aspects.
    • Public policies and funds should prioritize full recognition of indigenous peoples’ territory. Indigenous Peoples own natural resource use, management and conservation systems should be recognized and promoted.
    • The monitoring, reporting and verification system should not be limited to measuring changes in forest coverage, but rather incorporate social variables, specifically those related to the fulfillment of indigenous rights.
    • All mitigation and adaptation evaluation, recovery and development actions should incorporate indigenous peoples’ knowledge and technologies, subject to their free, prior and informed consent and also guarantee the full participation of indigenous experts.
    • We demand that the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recommend to the United Nations High Commission that Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples prepare a report about the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples.
    • The States should ensure that indigenous peoples have the right of mobility and are not forced to relocate far from their traditional territories and lands and that the rights of peoples in voluntary isolation are respected.
    • With regards to climate change migration, adequate programs and measures shall be in accordance with their rights, statutes, conditions and vulnerabilities.

    • All financing mechanisms for climate change mitigation and adaptation must be established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and directly provide resources to Indigenous Peoples.
    • To establish participatory mechanisms to guarantee transparency and accountability in all the funding procedures and operations. The resources should come from public monies and be additional to the funds for development aid.
    • To establish a special fund that allows Indigenous Peoples and local communities to develop their own activities and contributions to address climate change.
    • Developed countries must commit new annual funding of at least 6% of its gross national product to face climate change in the developing countries.
    • Funding must be direct, without conditioning and not violate the sovereignty nor the self determination of Indigenous Peoples.
    • The international financial institutions, like the World Bank, must no administer the funds created or to be created because they finance projects that contribute to global warming and especially now that the World Bank pretends to eliminate the safeguards on Indigenous Peoples with the “Program for Results” – P4R
    • Developed countries, the principal countries that have caused climate change, must assume their historic and current responsibility and recognize and honor their climate debt fully, which is the basis for a just, effective, scientific solution to climate change.

    • In the framework of climate debt, we demand that the developed countries return to the developing countries the atmospheric space that is occupied by their GHG emissions.

    Carbon markets and related mechanisms:
    • The IIPFCC reiterates that the majority of the world’s forests are found in Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories. The IIPFCC rejects carbon trading and forest carbon offsets which commodify, privatize and commercialize forests. We are profoundly concerned that REDD+ jeopardizes the future of humanity by providing polluters with cheap permits to pollute thus further entrenching fossil fuel use, which is the major cause of the climate crisis. REDD++ also threatens the survival of Indigenous Peoples and may result in the biggest land grab of all time. The Cancun Accords failed to provide legally binding safeguards on the rights of Indigenous peoples and REDD+ type projects are already resulting in the violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. REDD+ promotes industrial plantations and can include the planting of genetically modified trees. Furthermore, the inclusion of soils and agricultural practices in REDD+ and other carbon marketing schemes could commodify almost the entire surface of Mother Earth. Similarly, we also reject using the algae of the oceans for REDD+ projects. Forests are most successfully conserved and managed with indigenous forest governance and recognition, demarcation and titling of Indigenous Peoples’ collective land and territories.


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