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Monday, January 31, 2011

Indigenous rights groups demand consultation with IPOs in enacting the Forest Act and Wildlife Act

Source: Kapaeeng Foundation

On 25 January 2011 indigenous rights organisations namely CHT Citizens’ Committee, CHT Forest and Land Rights Protection Movement, CHT Headmen Networks and Kapaeeng Foundation submitted memorandum to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forest Ministry through Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati hill district demanding consultation by the government with indigenous peoples including their organisations and CHT Regional Council and Hill District Councils before passage of these Acts in the parliament. The memorandum was signed by 21 indigenous leaders from different organisations.

Indigenous rights organisations also organised press conference at Hotel Roof in Rangamati demanding the same. Mr. Goutam Dewan from CHT Citizens’ Committee, Mr. Sudatta Bikash Tanchangya from CHT Forest and Land Rights Protection Movement, Mr. Swdesh Priti Chakma from CHT Headmen Networks and Mr. Udvasan Chakma from Kapaeeng Foundation were present in the press conference. Mr. Sudatta B Tanchangya read out the press statement of the four organisations.

It is mentionable that Government of Bangladesh drafted proposal of further amendment of Forest Act-1927 and enactment of Wildlife (Preservation) Act 2010 canceling the Wildlife (Preservation) Act 1973 and planned to pass these Acts during ongoing parliamentary session. However, though indigenous peoples are stakeholder of these Acts, but no consultation with indigenous peoples is made by the government.

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