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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Indigenous Peoples’ Voices on Biodiversity: Mr. Dev Kumar Sunuwar – Nepal

Dev Kumar Sunuwar, a proud member of the Sunuwar Indigenous Peoples from Nepal, holds significant roles as the Chair of Indigenous Television, the only multi-lingual television in Nepal, and as the Asia Programme Coordinator of Cultural Survival.

Mr. Dev recognizes the importance of celebrating the International Day for Biodiversity. It serves as an opportunity not only to raise awareness and enhance understanding about the profound relationship Indigenous Peoples have with biodiversity but also allows us to shed light on the specific challenges our Indigenous Communities face in protecting and defending our lands and forests.

The Indigenous Peoples of Nepal continue to live within or near the forests. Regrettably, the forests that were once protected and managed by Indigenous Peoples have been converted into national parks, wildlife reserves, hunting reserves, conservation areas, and buffer zones without obtaining the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples.

Mr. Dev emphasizes, “Despite the objections raised by Indigenous Peoples, nearly 25% of the land and forest areas have been transformed into protected areas. As an indigenous journalist, I strongly emphasize the pivotal role that indigenous-led media plays in bringing attention to such issues within a broader context.”