Strengthening pride in Khumbu, Nepal
The Sherpa indigenous people of the Mt. Everest region of Nepal—a customary territory called Khumbu — regard their high valleys as a sacred place they have the responsibility to conserve. Many Sherpa cultural leaders, however, are concerned that their territory is insufficiently recognized and respected by national park authorities. They are also concerned that the Sherpa children are acculturated into non-Sherpa culture and are likely to lose their identity, language and connection with their territory.
This PKF initiative is designed to strengthen community security, solidarity and rights, and to energize critical community support and actions towards self-governance, livelihoods, and culture. It will help the youth to focus on self-reflection and inter-generational and inter-village learning. It will provide information to government officials on the documentation and mapping of the conserved territory (ICCA). And it will provide better recognition and appropriate respect for Khumbo as part of Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park.
A community self-assessment discussion will be followed by programs to educate youth and government officials about the ICCA and support advocacy for its legal recognition and respect. These programs will bring together community members and the youth, and promote the sharing of knowledge about ICCAs. Communities will be assisted to learn how to document and map ICCAs together with young community researchers — including by writing down unwritten customary law and procedures and/or videotaping elders’ accounts of ICCAs and their histories. Communities will come together regionally as well through elders/youth gathering, a youth trek, an ICCA pilgrimage, and a culminating project workshop with national park officials. The planned activities will enhance intra-village and regional solidarity by bringing together elders, leaders, men, women, youth and children in diverse ways of celebrating identity, culture, territory, and conservation stewardship.