Global Forest Summit 2022

Three members of the FSC-IF Council will be speaking at conference aimed to take stock of the situation of the world's forests

Forests play a central role in the fight against climate change and preventing biodiversity loss. The guardians of the world’s forests – Indigenous Peoples and local communities – must also play a central role as drivers of solutions.

The Global Forest Summit brings together multilateral organizations, scientists, the private sector, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples to provide a platform to stay up to date on global forest trends. The summit shares the latest data on deforestation, restoration, and sustainable management of the world’s forests and inspires concrete, rapid and sustainable steps on a global scale.

Speakers at the summit from the FSC-IF Council include Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) and Coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), Gregorio Mirabal, Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) and Kim Carstensen, Director General of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The summit will take place on March 24, 2022.

Find more information and register here.


Indigenous Innovative Solutions Photography Contest

We know that the best way to defend the rights and promote the solutions created by Indigenous Peoples is for Indigenous Peoples to communicate their own visions, with their own words and images.

We want to encourage Indigenous communicators and photographers to tell their stories, those of their communities and cultures through photographs.

It is for this reason that today we are launching our Photography Contest “Indigenous Innovative Solutions”, to learn more about their realities, problems, proposals, and innovative solutions to defend their rights, manage their territories, and protect Mother Earth.

The FSC-IF is a global organization created by and for Indigenous Peoples that seeks to provide long-term solutions that support the world’s Indigenous communities. Our mission is to co-create Indigenous-nature-based solutions with Indigenous Peoples around the world. We focus on promoting Indigenous Peoples’ rights, holistic self-development, and self-sufficiency.

Join our network of visual storytellers and participate in this contest after checking the Terms and Conditions.

For questions and concerns please contact :

Mary Donovan, Communications Officer of FSC Indigenous Foundation, at    

Terms and Conditions

Who can participate?

The contest is especially intended for communicators, photographers, and storytellers from the diverse Indigenous Peoples around the world.

We promote non-discrimination and intergenerationally, for this reason the contest has no age limit and encourages the participation of women and young people.

What are the categories?

Innovation and Climate Change. This category is open to communicators, photographers, or amateur storytellers from Indigenous Peoples of any age. This theme includes:

  • Indigenous-based innovative solutions related to climate change, forest fires, deforestation, biodiversity, water management, territory management, etc.
  • Traditional knowledge based on innovative solutions.
  • Innovative solutions based on the traditional and ancestral work of Indigenous communities in forest and biodiversity conservation.
  • Community-led efforts to adapt or to mitigate climate change.

Forest and Indigenous Peoples. This category is open to communicators, photographers, or amateur storytellers from Indigenous Peoples of any age. This theme includes:

  • Indigenous Peoples’ relationship with nature.
  • Indigenous Peoples and biodiversity.
  • Traditional knowledge for sustainable forest use, management, and conservation.
  • Indigenous landscapes, governance and management.

Indigenous Youth. This category is open to young communicators, photographers, and storytellers up to 20 years old.  This category includes:

  • Indigenous innovation and climate change
  • Forests and Indigenous Peoples
  • Indigenous youth and women innovative actions

Terms of the contest

  • All submitted pictures must be original.
  • Each participant is allowed to submit one picture per category.
  • Pictures containing recognizable individuals must have a prior consent for the use of the picture, attached to the registration mail.

Conditions of the contest

  • By submitting a picture, the person to whom it belongs automatically allows the FSC Indigenous Foundation to use the image in communication and promotional materials.
  • Pictures of individuals who do not have authorization for the use of the image will not be eligible.

Elegibility criteria

Only pictures that meet the following requirements will be eligible to compete:

  • All participants must be members of an Indigenous People.
  • All pictures must be original.
  • Pictures that have already received awards or recognition prior to this contest are not eligible.
  • For the third category, Indigenous Youth, photographers must be 20 years old or younger.

Awards and recognitions

We recognize and reward the work of communicators, photographers, and storytellers. The first three places in each category will receive a symbolic and economic recognition.

  • First place: $1,000 (one thousand U.S. dollars).
  • Second place: $600 (six hundred U.S. dollars).
  • Third place: $400 (four hundred U.S. dollars).


The contest will have the assistance of an expert panel composed of renowned Indigenous photographers from around the world, who will evaluate and select the winning photographs.

The evaluation will consider the following criteria:

  • Color.
  • Composition.
  • Creativity.
  • Relevance to the chosen category.

How to participate?

To participate in the contest, you must follow the next steps:

  • Download and read our terms and conditions.
  • Choose the category in which you want to participate.
  • Select the photo with which you want to participate. Please remember the picture must have a minimum resolution of 1500 pixels on the longest side and the file must have a maximum weight of 25 MB.
  • Send us an email with your picture attached to The email must include the following information:
    • First and Last Name.
    • Age.
    • Country.
    • People to which you belong.
    • Date and place where the picture was taken.
    • Short description of the picture.
  • If your picture contains the likeness of one or more persons, please attach a consent letter for the use of the picture.


Conversation with the first Indigenous woman lawyer in Panama

Sara Omi speaks about her journey and the importance of empowering Indigenous women and girls.

Sara Omi Indigenous Woman Leader from Panama

For every two Indigenous men in Panama who graduate from university, only one Indigenous woman graduates. Of the 16% of the Indigenous population over 10 years of age in Panama who cannot read or write, 63% are women compared to 37% of men.  

It is now the time to put Indigenous women in the driver’s seat towards a different future for them and for their communities, where they can build and manage Indigenous-based solutions from their communities to the scale of the challenges facing our planet.  In Panama, we have Sara Omi Casamá, an Indigenous woman of the Emberá People, who has broken barriers along her life as an Indigenous woman and leader. She is a member of the AMARIE association of women artisans, President of the Territorial Women Leaders of Mesoamerica of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, and the first Indigenous woman in Panama to become a lawyer.  

As the FSC Indigenous Foundation is committed to the empowerment of Indigenous women as leaders, providers of solutions, and an integral part of the holistic self-development of their communities, in honor of International Women’s Day, we had a conversation with Sara on Indigenous women’s rights.

Listen to her words below. 


FSC Launches Indigenous Foundation

To give a voice to Indigenous Peoples on the continued management and preservation of the world’s forests, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has established the FSC Indigenous Foundation.

Masai in traditional clothes joining hands in unity (Zanzibar, Tanzania).

The FSC Indigenous Foundation is an extension of FSC’s commitment to working with Indigenous Peoples to find solutions for the sustainable management of forests. It is a strategic and operative unit established to develop creative and innovative solutions to support Indigenous communities and enable them to build and guide the sustainable management of their land.

For supporting Indigenous Peoples, the Foundation will adapt an Indigenous cultural landscapes approach. This approach was developed by FSC in 2016, to acknowledge the social, cultural and economic value of Indigenous land. The approach appreciates the enduring relationship of Indigenous Peoples with the land, water, fauna and flora, and their spiritual significance to cultural identify, knowledge and livelihoods.

FSC’s commitment to working with Indigenous Communities is part of its DNA and has always been central to its work. This commitment became explicit in 2011, with the establishment of the FSC Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee, an advisory unit to the FSC board of directors, to ensure the voice of Indigenous Peoples is heard at FSC’s decision-making level.

FSC Director General, Kim Carstensen explained that FSC’s decades of experience were proof that Indigenous communities were one of the most important factors for the sustainable management of forests.

“I’m delighted that FSC’s Indigenous members have wanted to come together with us to facilitate the establishment of this unique Foundation. It is Indigenous led and Indigenous governed and has a very strong link with FSC. For me, this is a major opportunity for forest-dependent Indigenous Peoples worldwide, and is a breakthrough for FSC’s mission and our global strategic plan, which is deliberately designed with Indigenous input at its core,” Carstensen said.

The Indigenous Foundation is headed by Francisco Souza, who is an Indigenous person himself with decades of experience working with environmental and Indigenous organizations particularly in Latin America. Souza aims to use his experience working with Indigenous communities across over 70 million hectares of Amazon rainforest to ensure increased Indigenous engagement in creating and leading sustainable forest-based solutions across the globe.

“We expect to increase the degree of engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the FSC certification system in a more strategic way by creating Indigenous community models with long-term safeguards for their rights and improved access to markets. At the same time, we will develop tools and promote business partnerships to improve forest management and income in indigenous cultural landscapes” said Souza.

The results of the initiatives and projects carried out by the Foundation will strengthen the mission and long-term objectives of FSC to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation is headquartered in Panama. The Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee will continue its role as advisor to FSC’s Board of Directors, and its activities will be serviced by the Indigenous Foundation.

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