| 12-03-2012

Nepal: Establishment of National Park threatens the right to food of villagers in Balapur

The right to food of 1377 people of 238 households in Balapur village has come under threat after the creation of Banke National Park in 2010 by the government of Nepal. Through the establishment of Banke National Park, which covers the settlement area of Balapur villagers, the access to forest and resources of the villagers has become severely limited. The majority of the people living there are subsistence farmers. As most of the villagers sustain their livelihood and supplement their income from the resources of the forest (collecting fallen wood, thatched grass, fodder, etc.), and from rivers and wetlands, the restricted access is having a detrimental effect on their livelihood. In addition, villagers fear, that their crops, livestock and properties will be threatened by attacks from wild animals. No proper consultation with the villagers and the community forest users group has taken place prior to this important decision.

This case needs your URGENT ACTION, by writing to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Nepal, with copies to the Prime Minister; the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation; and the Ministry of Irrigation to demand that alternative settlement with comparable infrastructure and land quality is provided. Please send a copy to the FIAN International Secretariat, who will submit the letters to the UN Special Rapporteurs.