Reiterating the fact that Nepal has ratified the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No.169, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and voted for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),
Reminding the fact that the Cancun Agreement on REDD+ Safeguards (2010) and the Climate Change Paris Agreement recognize Indigenous Peoples’ rights,
Demanding that, as we, the Indigenous Peoples have an intrinsic relationship with the Nature, our rights over natural resources, including our lands and territories be recognized and that our rights to self-determination including the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) procedure be ensured,
The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples of Nepal declares the following points as a minimal position of the Indigenous Peoples of Nepal with regard to Emission Reduction Program Document (ERPD) and Emission Reduction Program (ERP) implementation.
1. The UNDRIP, ILO C 169, FPIC, CBD 8(J), the Cancun Agreement on REDD+ Safeguards, the Climate Change Paris Agreement and other relevant international instruments related to Indigenous Peoples’ rights should be implemented as minimum standards of ERPD and ERP.
2. The Indigenous Peoples should be recognized and established as the rights holders, not merely as the stakeholders in the ERP.
3. The Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land, territories and natural resources inter alia forests, water, and timber and non-timber forest products should be ensured.
4. The customary laws and practices, indigenous knowledge, skills and technology, and tangible and intangible cultural heritages of the Indigenous Peoples should be recognized, respected, promoted and fulfi lled.
5. It should be ensured that there are no negative impacts of ERP on the Indigenous Peoples’ traditions and culture, life style, livelihood practices, and cosmo-vision.
6. Proportional and effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples through their collective and institutional representation in all institutional structures and through their recruitment, at all phases and levels, including at the national, provincial and local levels, should be ensured.
7. Proportional representation of the indigenous women should be ensured.
8. Indigenous Peoples experts should be actively engaged at all levels and phases of the ERP.
9. Awareness raising and capacity building of the Indigenous Peoples about ERP and REDD+ should be carried out.
10. It should ensure voluntary isolation of Indigenous Peoples and that the ERP strictly does not relocate and resettle the Indigenous Peoples without obtaining their FPIC.
11. Distribution of non-carbon benefi ts must prioritize the Indigenous Peoples as they contribute the most to the management and protection of the forest.
12. Equitable, transparent and coherent benefi t sharing of both carbon benefi ts and noncarbon benefi ts should be ensured.
13. Relevant documents and information must be made accessible to and be provided to the Indigenous Peoples in their respective mother tongues in a manner and through a medium that are indigenous peoplesfriendly.
14. Feedback grievances redress mechanism and the mechanism for ensuring the Indigenous Peoples’ rights must be put in place.
15. Forests, territories and pasturelands that have been traditionally managed, used and protected by the Indigenous Peoples must not be converted into a community forest, a collaborative forest or a government forest.
16. In case any forest of the Indigenous Peoples is already converted into a community forest, or a leasehold forest or any form of government forest, that forest must be handed over back to the Indigenous Peoples.
17. The culture, the world-view and the need of the Indigenous Peoples should be taken into account while introducing support to livelihood options.
18. Necessary arrangements should be made to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights of the Indigenous Peoples and the occupations and livelihood practices based on the indigenous knowledge and skills should be promoted.
19. While introducing alternative sources of energy, the need of the Indigenous Peoples should be properly identifi ed and consensus with them should be reached.
20. The ERP must not restrict the collection and consumption of forest products that have cultural and spiritual values for the Indigenous Peoples.
21. Traditional life styles and livelihoods of the Indigenous Peoples must not be restricted in the name of forest conservation and REDD+.
22. It should be ensured that there is no destruction of crops and harm against human life from the wild life of protected forests.
23. Incrimination and millitarization against the Indigenous Peoples for their act of harvesting culturally and socially needed forest products from protected areas, forests and national parks must not occur
This Position Statement of indigenous peoples regarding the Emission Reduction Program of Nepal was jointly developed by Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF) and Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities Journalists (FONIJ).