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ZHRF statement - International Day of Biodiversity

In Observance of the International Day of Biodiversity - the 22nd May, 2009, the Zomi Human Rights Foundation (ZHRF) acknowledged the immense Climate Change to create awareness that directly or indirectly affect on the Indigenous Peoples in particular and community in general

On this International Day of Biological Diversity, the Foundation is regretted to dislodges the fact that the world is facing an incrreasing threat of environmental calamities in the form of global warming, extreme weather, unexpected floods, droughts or water crisis, melting ice-glaciers, extinction of species, land and coastal erosion, rising sea-level etc.
These problems undoubtedly has resulted from the irresponsible activities initiated upon nature by human beings that create imbalance Biological Diversity. The impact was so devastating that human civilisation was reportedly deemed to encounter a great peril within a century or so.

In the face of blooming economy, development activities and environmental disorders many are compelled to leave their own settlements. The Foundation, while acknowledge with appreciations the initiatives taken up by the Governments and NGOs both the nationally and internationally, express great concerns over the the plights meted out to the indigenous peoples across the globe.

While we share the grief and pain of the peoples of Alaskan coastal areas who needs to find relocation of settlements due to erosion, we extend our comforts to the people of China whose residences are destroyed in the process of urbanisation and development.
As we continued to observe the problems face by the aborigines of Australia, Afghans, Latin Americans, Europeans, Africans and the Indigenous Peoples of Asia due to the outcome of Biological Diversity imbalances, we also take the pain to highlight the problem faced by the Indigenous Zo People (Zomi) living in Indo-Bangla-Myanmar boundaries areas.

Looking the grave situations, the concerned authorities (Government of India) has rather legislated the Joint Forest Management Act (2006) than preserving and promoting the Indigenous traditional knowhow ( Indigenous property rights). However, the Indigenous Peoples in these areas has a practice of jhuming/shifting cultivation as the sole occupation for their economic survival. Since the occupation require cutting forest and jungles for cultivation, forest and species living in these areas are rarely seen today. The once rich in forest products including different wild animals now becomes history of the past.

So, the ZHRF calls an urgent needs to initiate a large scale engineering projects to cause sustainable development, through Indigenous base knowledge that sageguaards their rights on the one hand and altering active participation to maintain healthy and productive Biological Diversity all over the world and also appeals to the concerned agencies to work for the restoration of deteriorating environment and to safeguaard Indigenous peoples rights while implementing plans and projects in the interest of future generations.

Issued by:
Information and Publicity Department,
Zomi Human Rights Foundation (ZHRF)
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