By: Stan Stevens, ICCA Consortium
The Khumbu Sherpa Culture Conservation Society (KSCCS), headed by Tenzing Tashi Sherpa (coordinator of the ICCA Network Nepal), has been carrying out a variety of ICCA-related activities in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal with support from the Paul K. Feyerabend Foundation and advice from Consortium steering committee member Stan Stevens. KSCCS is active in much of the customary Sharwa (Sherpa) territory of Khumbu, over which Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and World Heritage Site has been superimposed. Sherpa ICCAs include community forests; collectively-governed rotational grazing areas; a bird conservation area; and sacred mountains, lakes, springs, and forests within a region that is itself regarded as a sacred valley. KSCCS is currently implementing a two year project to strengthen regional appreciation of and support for traditional Sherpa culture and conservation practices. A major emphasis is increasing inter-generational transmission of knowledge about ICCAs to Sharwa youth.
Recent activities have included a well-attended elders/youth gathering to discuss culture and conservation, a 2 hour presentation in the major regional school to 156 students, two 3-4 day elders/youth and youth culture and conservation treks visiting major regional ICCAs (including one for 40 local high school students), a self-evaluation of ICCAs in two of the major villages, development of written materials for community use including school programs, and production of a short film of a regional cultural festival that includes a skit on an ICCA.