Sharing with you an article written by Michael Rosenkrantz, a VSO volunteer in Nepal working with Land Watch Asia partner Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC).
We are sharing this news from NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN).
Action 2015, a movement of thousands of organizations, coalitions, partners and activists fighting injustice, inequalities, poverty and climate change all over the world, was launched in Nepal on 14 January 2015.
The launching was attended by broader community of civil society alliance, networks, federations and several other civil society groups in Kathmandu. Chairing the function, President of NFN, Ms. Sharmila Karki informed that Action 2015 aims to engage in large-scale mass-mobilization campaigns to call on global and national leaders to take right decisions in 2015 while bringing new development framework in the wake of end of the deadline to achieve Millennium Development Goals. Ms. Karki highlights the importance of international development partners focusing on fulfilling the gap seen in the development efforts instead of setting priority on their own. “Development paradigm we want is people-oriented that really reduces poverty and promotes prosperity,” says Ms. Karki.
On the occasion, special guest and member of the Constituent Assembly and legislative-parliament, Mr. Rajan Bhattarai stressed that human, social and environmental aspects should be focused in upcoming development framework. “The year of 2015 will be very important for Nepal as we have come through conflict situation and now time has come to repair and fill the damages by focusing on development than any other matter,” he says, “Careful consideration is needed while setting national priority of development.”
NFN Secretary General, Mr. Gopal Lamsal, also highlighted the role of civil society in sensitizing the respective governments to bring need and right based development paradigm at a time when global deliberations and inter-governmental negotiations are taking place regarding the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
Similarly, Mr. Daya Sagar Shrestha presented the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, global negotiation process, and engagement of civil society.
The program has decided to continue advocacy on post 2015 development framework on behalf of the CSOs.
CSRC organizes International Conferences on Agrarian Questions and Comprehensive Solutions, and Land Reform and Non-Violent Land Rights Movement
Last 3-4 March 2014, Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC), International Land Coalition (ILC), International Initiatives (II) and Forum for Agrarian Concern and Studies Nepal (FACT-Nepal) organized the International conference on ‘Agrarian Questions and Comprehensive Solutions.’ The conference sought to build the knowledge on land and agrarian reform models, approaches and policy provisions and identify strategic areas on land reforms.
Discussions took place between Nepal’s Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM), CSOs, political parties and parliament members. The conference gathered 187 participants from Asia (including Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan), Latin America (Columbia and Venezuela), Africa (Senegal), Europe (Switzerland), and Canada, resulting in a diverse set of perspectives and experiences, as well as stories of struggles, successes, and challenges.
Prior to the conference in Kathmandu, CSRC also organized a field visit programme for international participants, not to mention a two-day International Conference on ‘Land Reform and Non-Violent Land Rights Movement’.
The field visits were organized on 26-27 February 2014 – so Nepali landless, tenants and small holder farmers especially Village/District Land Rights Forums (VLRFs/DLRFs) members can interact with government stakeholders and international participants. Twenty-one international participants and 11 Nepali participants were divided into three groups and visited Mahottari District (East), Nawalparasi District (West) and Rasuwa (Middle region) of Nepal.
International Conference on ‘Land Reform and Non-Violent Land Rights Movement
The International Conference on ‘Land Reform and Non-Violent Land Rights Movement’ was held at the National Land Rights Resource Center in Thimura, Chitwan on 28 – 2nd March, 2014. The three-day conference was enthusiastically conducted in an open atmosphere, touching upon many interesting topics. Participants had a unique opportunity to share ideas and demands, to exchange experiences and discussions, and accordingly to propose measures of collective action and strategies. The program specially focused on non-violent movement; social security; democratisation and people’s rights. At this conference, the participants expressed many original views and made many constructive suggestions on all areas of the conference’s concerns. Further it has also been important to work together, to debate about alternatives and to link our struggles. There was a participation of 85 members including national and international participants.
- Participants had a unique venue for sharing ideas and demands, experiences and discussions, and propose solutions and strategies for collective action.
- The prioritization of mass movement and active non-violence in the struggle for land rights leading towards social transformation
- Field visit program provided a clear understanding to international delegates on the working modalities of CSRC and NLRF through a direct interaction with Nepali farmer leaders, especially VLRF members and DLRF members. Similarly the community people also gained different country experience on non-violent land rights movement.
- All political parties (including influential Members of Parliament, political leaders on land/agrarian reform, Government of Nepal) were brought together for one collective goal and discussion – to collaborate on land reform initiatives.
- Enhanced knowledge and skill on land rights movement, and land/agrarian reform models among Nepali farmers leaders, land rights activists, land rights team, as well as international participants – which will hopefully contribute to action in their respective countries
- Influence to endorse ‘National Reform Action Plan’
- Strengthened alliance, networking and coordination for the exchange of ideas and experiences
After these activities, CSRC intends to:
- hold regular discussion with political parties about their position and review their manifesto and political documents.
- organise field visit events, discussion with community people by expert, ex government officials, minister and academician.
- develop political document of national land rights forum with clear position and strategy for land reform.
- bring the experts and activists from other countries for idea sharing mainly focused on constitution building process and land reform agenda.
Read CSRC’s report on the International Conference on Agrarian Questions and Comprehensive Solutions.
We are sharing with you the work of our friends from the Consortium for Land Research and Policy Dialogue (COLARP). This policy brief discusses domestic land acquisition – land grabbing – in Nepal.
Nepal’s National Land Rights Forum (NLRF) – a national people’s movement – has been going the rounds in Nepal to promote land rights. In April, it organized a Regional Land Rights Assembly – Bhumi Sabha – in ten places in Nepal, which raised the voices of people from the grassroots. Moreover, the NLRF team has drafted a position paper based on the issues raised during the assembly, and presented this to leaders of various political parties, for inclusion in their election manifestos. The position paper upholds land rights for agricultural-dependent indigenous (Janjati) people, Dalits, landless, squatters, small farmers, women, bonded laborers, and tenants, among other marginalized groups. It also urges the government to begin the much delayed land reform process.
In meeting with the Minister of Land Reform, Riddhi Baba Pradhan, NLRF Chair Som Prasad Bhandari has emphasized that the campaigns and issues they raise need the ministry’s staunch support.