Building a multistakeholder mechanism with Indigenous Peoples to implement the Forest Tenure Pledge of $1.7 billion

At COP27, Indigenous leaders, USAID, and the FSC-IF discuss why co-creation with Indigenous Peoples is key for effective climate action.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation and USAID hosted the panel discussion: Building a Multistakeholder Mechanism with Indigenous Peoples to Implement the Forest Tenure Pledge of $1.7 Billion to present their current efforts to build partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLC) for climate action and USAID’s contribution toward the Forest Tenure IPLCs Pledge. The hosts invited Indigenous leaders to discuss how climate change disproportionately impacts Indigenous Peoples, and why multistakeholder collaborations and partnerships are necessary for effective climate action.

This rich interregional discussion took place on Thursday, November 16 in the US Center at COP27. The event was a space for Indigenous leaders from Central America, Africa, and Northeast Asia and representatives from USAID and the FSC Indigenous Foundation to identify ways of integration and collaboration to achieve common goals to move forward with the implementation of the Forest Tenure Pledge. 

The panel discussion included: Dr. Lauren Baker – USAID Senior Policy Analyst and Inclusive Development and Environment Advisor; Mr. Nicodeme Tchamou – USAID Environmental Program Management Specialist; Ms. Salina Sanou – IPARD Program Deputy Director and Regional Director for Africa and Asia, FSC Indigenous Foundation; Mr. Levi Sucre – Coordinator of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities GATC (member of the Bribri Indigenous Peoples from Costa Rica); Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – Coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) and member of the FSC-IF Council; Mr. Basiru Isa, Secretary General of the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC); Mr. Rodion Sulyandziga – Chairperson of the FSC Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC) (member of the Udege Indigenous Peoples) and Dr. Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation (member of the Apurinã Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon).

Participants discussed the most effective ways to channel support to Indigenous Peoples and local communities and the implementation of the collective pledge.

Dr. Lauren Baker presented USAID contributions to the IPLC Forest Tenure Pledge and shared the 2022–2030 Climate Strategy and Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PRO-IP). She stated, “Indigenous Peoples are key partners, stakeholders, and agents of change.”

Mr. Nicodeme Tchamou discussed USAID initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Indigenous Peoples. He said, “we are not talking about consultation or consent, we are talking about co-creation, or designing together.”

Mr. Levi Sucre from AMPB and GATC also highlighted the idea of co-creation to discuss and build solutions, “the way forward is together.”

Ms. Hindou Oumarou from AFPAT pointed out that her home in Chad is already flooded by the impacts of climate change. “There is not someone else telling us about climate impacts, we are experiencing it directly. It is better to focus our energy on how we can resolve it and bring hope back home,” she said. 

Mr. Basiru Isa from REPALEAC pointed out some challenges for channeling support to Indigenous Peoples. He said, “Intermediary organizations sometimes work more to satisfy their auditors than to satisfy Indigenous Peoples.”

Mr. Rodion Sulyandziga of the FSC PIPC reflected on how we can create reliable multistakeholder mechanisms. “The main thing to keep in mind is that trust and capacity building is needed, as well as accountability and good management at all levels.”

Dr. Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation, closed the session with a message promoting the connection between Indigenous-based solutions and climate finance. He stated, “for centuries Indigenous Peoples have protected and managed Mother Earth. Partnering directly with Indigenous Peoples is an opportunity to reduce risks.” 

All panelists concluded that for climate finance to reach Indigenous Peoples and local communities directly, it will be necessary to develop and agree on transparent and efficient mechanisms, not only determined by donors and partners but in close consultation with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. 

View a recording of the event here (begins at 5:54).