Global Warming Scapegoat: A New Punishment Measure Imposed on Indigenous Peoples for Practicing their Sustainable Traditional Livelihood Activities

NEFIN: 2012 November Newsletter in Nepali

The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)-Climate Change and REDD Partnership Project has published its 2012 November Newsletter.

NEFIN: September Newsletter in Nepali

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)-Climate Change and REDD Partnership Project has issued its Nepali Newsletter.

Climate Change & Gender Initiatives in Nepal

UN-Habitat has developed a checklist for mainstreaming gender under the second phase of Cities and Climate Change Initiatives (CCCI) initiated by UN-Habitat in 20 cities of 13 countries. The check list is being tested in different countries and Nepal (Kathmandu Valley) is one of those few countries chosen by UN-Habitat. The purpose of testing the tool is (a) to test, tailor and disseminate the gender and climate change checklist in the context of Kathmandu Valley (b) to disseminate the findings to the stakeholders for adaptation of the toolkit to mainstream gender in climate change initiatives.

The checklist had been tested in Kathmandu valley varying from policy makers to local authorities and even incorporated valuable inputs from the communities with specific focus on women and their respective experiences and concerns.

To share the findings of the tested checklist, a dissemination workshop was organized on 10th April 2012 in Kathmandu bringing together individual experts and those participated in the interaction, representatives from, all the five municipalities in the Kathmandu Valley and representatives from civil society organizations and grassroots organizations and the government. The major objectives of this gathering are:

  • Sharing the findings and way forward at national, municipal and neighborhood level and validate the findings,
  • Receive feedback on the findings and for UN-Habitat to move ahead

The objectives of the dissemination workshop were achieved to a greater extent. For example (a) the findings from the test, reflections and suggestions were shared (b) a very good feedback received on the presentations and way forward for UN-Habitat. The most exciting part of this workshop is that it is actively participated by ranges of representation from policy makers to implementations to grass-root women groups. This forum provided avenues to share the concerns and issues from multi dimensional perspectives opening door to new avenues.

This interaction on findings of the testing of the tool kit on Impact of Climate Change on Gender is not a beginning and end in itself. Addressing the meeting Ms. Meena Khanal, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Environment thanked UN-Habitat to bring in such an important issue and urged the participants to focus on gender perspective particularly impact on women health. In the climate change initiatives women should not be limited to passive receivers but they should be involved in the process giving them leading role. Ms. Ang Dawa Shrepa, Honorable member of Constitution Assembly highlighted the situation of women in Nepal and called for a gender-focused action while building climate resilient society.

The workshop provided insights for UN-Habitat to build upon what has been done so far and contribute in addressing the impact of Climate Change on Gender. As suggested by the participants the findings need to be a rolling document and fine-tuned further so that it can be validated at all level. Similarly, the toolkit need to be finalized with wider consultations as suggested, translated into Nepali and other regional languages so that it can be understood and applied with ease at all level for benchmarking the impact of Climate Change on Gender and plan actions to minimize the impact on gender at all level.


In Nepal and Papua New Guinea, media does little to explain REDD+


BOGOR, Indonesia (31 October, 2012)_Mainstream media coverage of REDD+ in the forested nations of Nepal and Papua New Guinea is dominated by government policy makers and experts, while the voices of traditional land owners and local communities are conspicuously absent, two new studies by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have found.

Read more: In Nepal and Papua New Guinea, media does little to explain REDD+

Nepal: Mountain dwellers “neglected”

KATHMANDU, 8 May 2012 (IRIN) - The needs of millions of indigenous mountain people across Nepal are overlooked, imperilling their food security and hindering their economic progress, activists and experts say.

“People in the mountains of Nepal are worse off in terms of total poverty - food and non-food poverty,” said Jean-Yves Gerlitz, co-author of a recent study on mountain poverty, and statistical analyst at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), an intergovernmental regional organization based in the capital, Kathmandu.

In assessing the government-administered Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) of 2003/2004, the authors noted that 40 percent of the 12 million people living in the mountainous and hilly regions of Nepal were below the poverty line (US$91per year), compared to a national average of 31 percent of 29 million people.

Nepal is divided into three geographic zones - the northern mountains, central hills, and southern plains - each extending lengthwise through the country. The population is disproportionately distributed across these zones, with half residing in the plains, 43 percent in the hills, and only 7 percent in the mountains.

While data from the 2011 NLSS reveal a declining national poverty rate - now at 25 percent - indigenous mountain groups still fare worse. 

ICIMOD says mountain and hill communities, compared to those living in the plains, have less access to “improved” sources of safe drinking water and electricity, and live hours away from road networks, markets and financial services.

Difficult terrain “aggravates the problems of access to essential services such as health, education, and livelihood support,” the report pointed out.

Households are more likely to be headed by a family member without formal education, and with more youth leaving to seek work in urban centres or abroad, the women, children and elderly are often left behind to bear the work burden, Gerlitz said.

General planning, special needs

National plans and development strategies generally apply to the country as a whole, and fail to address the particular needs of mountain dwellers, said Kiran Hunzai, ICIMOD poverty analyst and co-author of the agency’s recent report.

This has also been the case in the development of national climate change policies and programmes, said Ang Kaji Sherpa, general secretary of the Kathmandu-based NGO, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities.

Indigenous groups were not consulted in the writing of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to Climate Change, despite their increasing vulnerability to erratic weather patterns, Sherpa told an international conference that convened mountain countries in Kathmandu in April 2012.

In recent years the Nepalese government has also cordoned off large areas of land for conservation and reforestation, displacing large numbers of the local population, who have had little say in the matter, Sherpa said.

“They have been forcibly migrated, and their livelihoods have been affected. All of this should be taken into account when Nepal is implementing its adaptation or mitigation policies.”

Batu Uprety, technical joint-secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, maintained that representatives of the indigenous communities had participated in an open consultation on the NAPA, and that the root of mountain poverty is not neglect, but rather the difficult terrain, he told IRIN.

ICIMOD’s Hunzai noted that not all mountain communities are isolated.

A recent UN report has called for greater focus on mountain development.

“Covering about one-quarter of the world’s land surface, mountains provide a direct life-support base for about 12 percent of the world population, as well as essential goods and services to more than half of humankind,” noted the report's authors.

Source: IRIN