Culture, Livelihoods, and Participation of Indigenous Peoples to be Supported and Enhanced, Thanks to Newly Adopted Green Climate Fund Indigenous Peoples Policy

 Daughter of the Ammatoa poses for a photo in the Ammatoa Kajang indigenous community during the DGM Asia Regional Exchange in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo Credit: Phnom Thano

Daughter of the Ammatoa poses for a photo in the Ammatoa Kajang indigenous community during the DGM Asia Regional Exchange in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo Credit: Phnom Thano

The DGM Global Steering Committee and Global Executing Agency are thrilled to congratulate indigenous peoples and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on the adoption of the GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy (GCF/B.19/05). During the GCF’s Board Meeting in Songdo, South Korea this week, one of the major priorities of indigenous peoples was the adoption of the Indigenous Peoples Policy. The policy was adopted this morning, February 27, with no questions or objections. A video of the policy's adoption is available through the GCF website, and a transcript is below:

"Inasmuch as this issue has been dealt with through 70 submissions from the Board and from civil society entities and has received the opinions of 180 indigenous peoples organizations and inasmuch as there were two rounds of public consultations and one round of consultation with the Board, it is clear that this policy is quite mature and we would like to place it before the board for your adoption if there are no objections. Are there objections to approving this policy? (pause) It is approved." - Paul Oquist, GCF Co-Chair

This policy has been a priority for indigenous peoples since the GCF's formation in 2010 and will support their access to and equitable benefits from climate finance, as well as their engagement in climate change policy and actions at the global level, a commitment that has already been recognized by the Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Forest-dependent communities are on the frontlines of nature-based solutions to climate change, but they are too often left out of conversations and decision-making tied to sustainable forestry and climate action. The rationale for the policy asserts that, "[i]n many cases, [Indigenous Peoples] do not receive equitable access to project benefits, or benefits are not devised or delivered in a form that is culturally appropriate, and they are not always adequately consulted about the design or implementation of activities that would profoundly affect their lives or communities." The policy will ensure that GCF activities are developed and implemented in a way that respects, protects, and promotes indigenous peoples' dignity, rights, identities, aspirations, livelihoods, and cultures. Indigenous peoples representatives have already expressed what this means and what they hope this policy implementation will unlock for them. We too are hopeful as to where this step will lead us in our efforts to enhance the representation of indigenous peoples and local communities.

In October 2017, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved an additional investment of $500 million that will enhance nature’s role in fighting climate change. These funds will be dedicated to paying countries for verified emission reductions from REDD+ actions and will provide an important signal to countries that restoring and maintaining their forests and mangroves generates financial benefits. This outcome unlocks a new source of finance for REDD+ activities that have achieved results and will advance the role of forests in delivering on global climate and sustainable development goals. As indigenous peoples have been strongly engaged in REDD+ activities, the Indigenous Peoples Policy will guarantee that their rights are taken into consideration in these forest focused mechanisms.

About the Green Climate Fund

The mandate of the GCF is to promote low-emission and climate resilient development in eligible developing countries with a strategic vision of “promoting the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways” and “supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement within the evolving climate finance landscape.” GCF accredited entities represent a diversity of national, regional, private, non-governmental and international organizations from all over the world that can operate at various levels of scale and undertake a range of financial instruments

About the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

The Dedicated Granted Mechanism is an innovative grant program for fighting forest loss that is putting project design and funding decisions in the hands of indigenous peoples and local communities, giving them the power to set priorities and implement programs aimed at conserving their natural environment. Conceived and designed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and funded by the global community through the Forest Investment Program (FIP), the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM) provides the resources to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities that will enable them to strengthen their participation in the FIP and other REDD+ processes.

Sources:

Draft (Adopted) of the new GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy

Video – Adoption of the GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy

Tebtebba article

LCIP Platform Approval – COP23

GCF $500 Million Investment for Natures Role in Fighting Climate Change

Posted by Nathalia Penton, Adam Grider and Melanie Allen