National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will ask the government to incorporate the rights of the indigenous people on the natural resources in the amended forest act.
“The act that got nod from the cabinet will not bring any welfare to these people,” said NHRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman while addressing a national conference on forest conservation at the BIAM auditorium in the capital.
He urged Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association (BELA) and Chakma circle chief Debashish Roy to scrutinise the amended forest law.
The NHRC would recommend to the government to incorporate different human rights’ issues based on their analyses, Rahman added at the conference organised by Taungya, a local NGO in Rangamati.
The NHRC chairman also said the commission in its annual report to be submitted to the president by March 31 will recommend constitutional recognition of the indigenous people.
The conference was organised to discuss the success of a project titled consolidating community rights over natural resources for conservation of environment and sustainable development.
Rahman said through the project the rights of community people on village common forests were established but there are some communities who are living inside the reserve and protected forest whose rights should also be protected.
Speaking as special guest Sanjib Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, said, “The indigenous people think that they belong to the forests but the state looks at the forest as a profit making tool without considering their presence.”
NHRC member Nirupa Dewan and Association for Land Reform and Development chairperson Khushi Kabir also spoke at the conference with Chakma circle chief Debashish Roy in the chair.