Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) hereby condemns the recent declaration of the Government of Nepal to establish Banke National Park, Gaurishankar Conservation Area and Api Namba Conservation Area, without Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local community and indigenous people residing in the areas.
The decision was taken at the Kalapatthar plateau near Everest Base Camp (5,242 meters) in the foothills of Mt Everest base camp cabinet meeting to expand conservation area and declaring.
It is the black day in the history and reminds the Panchayati culture. This decision is completely against local community rights and ignores all well accepted democratic norms and values.
We call the government and concerned agencies not to implement the decision. The decision has no any relation with COP15 Copenhagen and climate change issues. FECOFUN is completely surprised by the fact that the Government of Nepal is totally irresponsible in addressing rapid deforestation and forest encroachment, which are even more urgent issues of conservation and addressing climate change and REDD strategies.
FECOFUN strongly believes that the Nepal government has undermined the role and contribution of community forestry and local people to recover the degraded forest areas, overcoming the impact of climate change, and in strengthening grassroots democracy. Our 15 thousands member groups across country are deeply troubled by the decision. Also, through the decision, the Government has eroded its own national and international credibility of having supported community forestry in the past.
FECOFUN will be compelled to run a peaceful movement against of the government decision from local level to international level if the decision is not withdrawn. FECOFUN also urges all democratic forces, civil society organization and community supporters to work together to stop such an undemocratic government decision that defies rights of local and indigenous people over natural resources.
We look forward to your support and cooperation. Thanks
Ghan Shyam Pandey
Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal, (FECOFUN)