Nepal:Indigenous Peoples Demand To Stop Army Mobilization In Nepal’s Makalu Barun National Park

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    Local indigenous peoples and their organizations have demanded for immediate halt to the process of army mobilization in Makalu Barun National Park condemning the Government for violating human rights of indigenous peoples by beginning preparations for army mobilization without their free consent.

    In a memorandum submitted to the Chairperson of Council of Ministers and other concerned state agencies on 26 August, representatives of indigenous communities and their organizations have asked the Government to rather formulate conservation program through community participation with respect to their rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). They have also demanded to form security mechanism under the control of local indigenous peoples to stop hunting and conservation of bio-diversity in the park and have warned to organize protests if the Government takes action against them.

    Local Kulung, Sherpa, Yamphu, Sinsawa, Mewahang, and Bhote indigenous communities are likely to be affected by the mobilization of army in the national park area as they would be denied access to forests and natural resources on which, they largely depend for their livelihood. The memorandum further states that the army mobilization violates indigenous rights as guaranteed by the United National Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) 2007 and International Labor Organization’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention 169).

    Parkauthorities of Makalu Barun National Park situated in Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumnu districts had recommended concerned government agencies to mobilize army in the name of conservation wildlife and biodiversity of the Park. The Park covers area of Bung and Chheskamvillages of Solukhumbu district and Sisuwakhola, Tamnku, Mangtewa, Bala, Yaphu, Makalu, Hatiya, Kimathanka, Pathibhara and Chepuwa villages of Sankhuwasabha district in the eastern hilly region of Nepal. The Park was declared in 1991 without taking consent of local indigenous peoples.

    Source: LAHURNIP