Empowering Indigenous Women and Girls in Biodiversity Conservation: A Successful Round Table Discussion by NIWF and WWF Nepal

In a significant step towards promoting biodiversity conservation and recognizing the rights of Indigenous women and girls, the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) and WWF Nepal jointly organized a highly successful 1-Day Round Table Discussion on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Held at Alfa House, New Baneshwor, the event took place on May 28, 2023, drawing enthusiastic participation from representatives of Indigenous communities and organizations.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework stands as an ambitious extension of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, encompassing the achievements, gaps, and lessons learned from various multilateral environmental agreements. By setting forth a transformative agenda, the framework aims to revolutionize society’s relationship with biodiversity by 2030, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The ultimate vision is to achieve harmony with nature by 2050.

The Round Table Discussion centered on the vital role of Indigenous women and girls in biodiversity conservation. By recognizing and elevating their rights within the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), the event sought to promote inclusivity and ensure that the unique perspectives of Indigenous communities are integrated into conservation efforts.

The success of the discussion was attributed to the active involvement of guest attendees representing various Indigenous communities and organizational representatives. Their valuable insights and experiences enriched the dialogue, fostering an environment of collaboration and shared learning.

During the event, NIWF expressed gratitude to all the participants for their valuable contributions. Special thanks were extended to Kamal Sampang Rai, Research and Conservation Officer of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Society for Wetland Biodiversity Conservation Nepal, for leading the discussion, and Ekraj Sigdel, Head of Policy and Governance at WFA, for his guidance throughout the process. Additionally, the presence and input of the Ministry of Forests and Environment Representee were acknowledged and appreciated.

The Round Table Discussion marked a significant milestone in the journey towards inclusive biodiversity conservation, placing Indigenous women and girls at the forefront of decision-making processes. By empowering these vital stakeholders, Nepal takes a significant stride towards achieving harmony with nature and preserving its rich environmental heritage for generations to come.

As the insights and outcomes of the Round Table Discussion are integrated into Nepal’s conservation strategies, it is hoped that the nation will emerge as a global leader in promoting the rights of Indigenous communities and safeguarding biodiversity for a sustainable future.

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