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Field visit of natural resource management stakeholders from Nepal to India

Organiser: Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI)

Venue

Sikkim, India

Date & Time

18 September 2022 to 28 September 2022

Contact

Binaya Pasakhala & Janita Gurung

 

About the event

This cross-learning programme aims to build the capacity of stakeholders in natural resource management through a field visit from the Kailash Sacred Landscape – Nepal to the Kanchenjunga Landscape – India. Participants from Nepal will visit the Lachen and Lachung valleys of Sikkim, India, where the traditional system of resource management, called dzumsa, is practised by the local communities. As part of the Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI), G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment’s Sikkim Regional Centre is supporting the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) in organising this event.

 

Objectives

  • Learn about the dzumsa system of management from the communities of Lachen and Lachung
  • Building knowledge on tourism management, yak networks, and high-altitude resource management from the Lachen and Lachung communities
  • Interact with government officials and relevant stakeholders in Gangtok, Sikkim, about their roles in supporting dzumsa system, biodiversity conservation, pastoralism, and tourism development

 

Participants

Representatives from Nepal will include the Limay community from Humla; elected representatives of Namkha Rural Municipality in Humla; officials from the Ministry of Forests and Environment and Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment – Karnali Province; and team members of KSLCDI from RECAST and ICIMOD will participate in the programme.

 

Background

Many local communities in Nepal, especially in the hill and high-mountain regions, practise their own traditional natural resource management system. Limi Valley in Namkha Rural Municipality, Humla District, Karnali Province, Nepal, is one such region where a traditional system of governance continues to be practised by the local Limay community.

This traditional system, which is a customary institution of the Limay community, is responsible for managing and regulating the use of natural resources. Based on traditional ecological knowledge, the institution devises rules to regulate the use of water, timing for agricultural cycles, rotational use of pastures, and collection of medicinal plants. Furthermore, the monastery plays an important role in conserving natural resources. Use or extraction of resources from sacred sites is strictly forbidden as they are designated as residential abodes of territorial gods and spirits. For centuries, this traditional institution has been instrumental in conserving the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of Limi Valley, which today hosts some of the country’s unique biodiversity, including the snow leopard, wild yak, wild ass, and black-necked cranes, among others.

Limi Valley’s traditional natural resource management system today faces challenges that are both intrinsic (outmigration, shift from traditional occupations, and conflicts over resources) as well as extrinsic (federal restructuring of the government and climate change). In August 2021, a consultation meeting was organised with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to discuss policy provisions and opportunities relevant to Limi’s traditional natural resource management system. The meeting agreed that cross-learning from the dzumsa governance system of Sikkim, India, would contribute to increasing the understanding and mechanisms of the counterpart system in Nepal.

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