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The FSC Indigenous Foundation promotes Indigenous-based solutions at COP27

We strengthened partnerships with and for Indigenous Peoples to confront and mitigate the global climate crisis.

portait indigenous woman of the world - COP27

Sharm, El Sheik, Egypt. The FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF) participated in the 27th edition of the United Nations Summit of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) held on November 6 to 18, 2022, at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Based on the importance of Indigenous Peoples, their territories, and their traditional knowledge and practices for the conservation of forests, biodiversity and resources, the FSC Indigenous Foundation promoted events seeking the recognition of Indigenous Peoples as agents of change and main actors regarding global solutions to the climate crisis.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation also encouraged multi-sector collaboration, seeking partnerships and bringing together different stakeholders to identify and promote Indigneous-based solutions to global challenges.

Additionally, we worked to empower a new generation of Indigenous leaders who will boost the Indigenous climate action to combat the challenges of climate change and determine a different course of action for the future of the planet.

From proposal to direct action

The following is a summary of the main events of the agenda. 

Side Event: From 1.7 Billion Commitment To Action: An African Indigenous Agenda for the Implementation of Indigenous-Led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing

portait participants of side event Side Event: From 1.7 Billion Commitment To Action: An African Indigenous Agenda for the Implementation of Indigenous-Led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing - COP27

The FSC Indigenous Foundation and its allies in Africa, the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC) and the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), co-organized a side event on November 8 in the Indigenous Pavilion at COP27 to discuss the Indigenous Financing Plan proposed by Forest Tenure Funders Group (FTFG) to be implemented in Africa as part of the continuation of the 1.7 billion commitment for Indigenous Peoples, which had been announced at COP26.

This plan will constitute a pilot that will determine the implementation of this mechanism on a global scale.

“Any solution to the climate crisis must include Indigenous Peoples as active partners. We are here to seek solutions and work together.”
Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation.

Side Event:  Building a Multisectoral Mechanism together with Indigenous Peoples towards the Implementation of the 1.7 Billion Pledge for Forest Conservation

participants of side event Building a Multisectoral Mechanism together with Indigenous Peoples towards the Implementation of the 1.7 Billion Pledge for Forest Conservation - COP27

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the FSC Indigenous Foundation co-organized this side event, held on November 16 at the US Center, to to discuss how climate change disproportionately impacts Indigenous Peoples and identify ways of integration and collaboration with Indigeous Peoples to achieve common goals to move forward with the implementation of the Forest Tenure Pledge.

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.

“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.”
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, AFPAT and FSC-IF Council member.

Side Event:  Indigenous Women Leading the Climate Change Agenda from their Ancestral Knowledge and Traditional Practices

participants of side event Indigenous Women Leading the Climate Change Agenda from their Ancestral Knowledge and Traditional Practices - COP27

On November 11 in the Green Zone at COP27, Indigenous women from Africa, Mesoamerica, and South America presented local examples of why Indigenous women are key agents leading climate change agendas with their ancestral knowledge and traditional practices. The event was organized by the FSC Indigenous Foundation, the Coordinator of Territorial Women Leaders of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), and TINTA.

Indigenous women, youth, and girls have been disproportionately impacted by climate change, even if they use, manage and conserve community territories consisting of more than 50% of the world’s land.

“Indigenous women’s traditional knowledge is part of the solution.”
Fany Kuiru of OPIAC.

Capacity Development Center Event: Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC Process through Capacity Development

participants of side event Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC Process through Capacity Development - COP27

Held on November 16 in the Capacity Development Center at COP27, this event provided the opportunity to discuss  the key strategies to foster capacity development of Indigenous Peoples and communities to promote their participation and contribution on initiatives and projects aiming for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) goals.

For this event, the FSC Indigenous Foundation, the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), Association for Research and Integral Development (AIDER), and Ecosphere+ convened a group of experts to highlight cases in Costa Rica and Peru where Indigenous communities are effectively participating in carbon markets, and discuss key strategies for capacity building for Indigenous Peoples and communities. 

The FSC-IF seeks to elevate Indigenous Peoples’ contributions towards the protection of Mother Earth, as a means to be recognized as providers of inclusive, holistic and cultural solutions focused on diversity in global changes.

“Mechanisms should be participatory and socialized with Indigenous Peoples and leaders. It is important to have information before making decisions that involve our territories and resources.”
Berlin Diques, Regional Organisation AIDESEP Ucayali (ORAU)

The FSC Indigenous Foundation builds partnerships with and for Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Solutions to the climate crisis require collaboration from different sectors, especially Indigenous Peoples, who have been the world’s nature-based solution providers for thousands of years. 

For this reason, the FSC Indigenous Foundation is engaging with different sectors to identify and promote Indigenous-based solutions to global challenges. At COP27, we signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Network of Indigenous and Local Communities for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), the Indigenous Peoples Coordinating Committee of Africa (IPACC), the Ogiek Peoples Development Program, and Health in Harmony to advance Indigenous-led solutions, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and Indigenous self-development. 

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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).

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Falling Short: From the 1.7 Billion Pledge to Actions: An African Indigenous Agenda to Implement Indigenous-led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing

Indigenous leaders, donors, and NGOs discussed Indigenous-led finance at COP27

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate crisis, due to their dependence upon, and close relationship, with the environment and its resources. Accordingly, any slight change in weather patterns resulting in climate change exacerbates the difficulties already faced by Indigenous communities including political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination, and unemployment.

The Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), the Network of Indigenous and Local Communities for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), and the FSC Indigenous Foundation organized the panel discussion: Falling Short: From the 1.7 Billion Pledge to Actions: An African Indigenous Agenda to Implement Indigenous-led Climate Solutions and Indigenous Financing. The high-level discussion took place on Tuesday, November 8 in the Indigenous Pavilion at COP27.

The event was a space for Indigenous leaders, donors, and NGOs to exchange on existing Indigenous-led finance models and identify ways of integration and collaboration to achieve common goals.

Panelists discussed how to develop the mechanisms of governance, design, and management of Indigenous financing linked to the USD 1.7 billion with five action-pillars part of a USD 100 million regional Indigenous-led climate agenda for Africa designed to address key existing constraints in the region.

Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation and member of the Apurinã Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, opened the session with a message about the solutions to the climate crisis that exist within Indigenous communities. He stated, “Indigenous Peoples have been here long before we started talking about finance and sustainability, which we have implemented for many years.”

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, from the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) emphasized the importance of having Indigenous Peoples as active partners in climate solutions. She said:

“We are not just recipients of money because we are doing our part. We are giving our resources, our knowledge; we are partners.”

Kanyinke Sena, Director of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), stated, “We ask for the pledge to put in place loss and damage financing as soon as possible.”

Basiru Isa, Secretary General of REPALEAC, added, “From the small amount of money given to Indigenous Peoples, the smallest part is given to Africa. We want to manage at least 100 million to implement a 3-4 year agenda in Africa.”

Panelists also emphasized the importance of partnerships. Joseph Itongwa, Coordinator of REPALEAC, said, “It is important to work with the FSC-IF, it is an organization led by an Indigenous person we trust.”

Casey Box, Director of Global Strategy at the Christensen Fund said, “Indigenous Peoples organizations should be able to decide which intermediaries they want to work with. The FSC-IF could be an excellent option, along with others.”

This productive discussion included: Dr. Francisco Souza from the FSC Indigenous Foundation, Basiru Isa from REPALEAC, Hindou Oumarou from AFPAT, Dr. Kanyinke Sena from IPACC, Joseph Itongwa from REPALEAC, Daniel Kobei from the Ogiek Peoples Development Program, Casey Box from the Christensen Fund and Salina Sanou from FSC Indigenous Foundation. 

Panelists focused on the importance of strengthening Indigenous governance and coordination (at regional, national, sub-national, and local levels); implementing funding management models to create the enabling conditions to increase the capacity of IPLC organizations including organizational structure, operational management, implementation development, procurement and reporting; as well as the importance of multi-sectoral engagement to ensure collaboration and partnership with national governments, donors, investors, and aid agencies. 

All speakers concluded that any solution to the climate crisis must include Indigenous Peoples as active partners.

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From Words to Actions: Catalyzing Multi-sectoral Alliances to Co-create Indigenous-led Financing Mechanisms for Inclusive Nature-based Solutions

Indigenous leaders, donors, and NGOs discussed Indigenous-led finance models and funding initiatives at a Climate Week New York event.

Indigenous Peoples and their territories are sources of global solutions to climate change. Respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and increasing their participation in climate-based solutions is critical to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals, fostering climate resilience, and reducing risks to all sectors. 

However, only a fraction of funding for climate and nature-based solutions has directly reached Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and local communities in the past decade. Indigenous-led financial mechanisms are the fuel to safeguard Indigenous customary rights and value their livelihoods and practices as an underlying principle to promote sustainable development and catalyze scalable and long-term climate solutions.

At Climate Week New York, the FSC Indigenous Foundation, USAID, the Coalition for the UN We Need, and GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion organized a panel discussion From Words to Actions: Catalyzing Multi-sectoral Alliances to Co-create Indigenous-led Financing Mechanisms for Inclusive Nature-based Solutions to bring together Indigenous leaders, donors, and NGOs to exchange on existing Indigenous-led finance models and identify ways of integration and collaboration to achieve common goals toward piloting Indigenous-led funding initiatives worldwide.

Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation and member of the Apurinã Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, opened the session with a critical message about the importance of creating and strengthening cross-collaboration among different sectors. He also stated: “The conversation today is about the future, but we need to think about the past, and we need to recognize and respect the past.” Indigenous communities have lived in harmony with Mother Earth for centuries. “Integrating Indigenous communities will help us reduce risks for the future and think together about the solutions; the asset that we bring to the table is the knowledge that we’ve gathered for centuries.” 

Maria F. Espinosa, member of GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion, pointed out that women need to be at the heart of climate action and  Indigenous Women are already taking leadership in helping their communities adapt to the changing climate. She said, “Climate change is a symptom of a broken relationship between society, politics, our economic models, and nature. The call here is for reconciliation between humans and nature, and Indigenous Peoples are key to rebuilding the relationship with nature.

In the first panel, Indigenous Voices, participants discussed how to ensure Indigenous voices are heard at the highest levels of decision-making in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, climate finance, and how to create stronger alliances to conserve forests and other ecosystems. Aïssatou Oumarou, an Indigenous leader from Chad and Vice President of the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC) stated that “REPALEAC helps Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in Africa, we support 467 organizations. Our vision is to help Africa provide the great contributions of ICLCs to climate action and to request our participation in decision-making.” 

Kanyinke Sena, Director of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), stated that “Local communities are not receiving enough funding” in order to implement nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and protect their resources. Participants also called attention to the alarming numbers of environmental defenders that have been killed in recent years for raising their voices.

In the second panel, Donor Perspectives: Investing in the fight against Climate Change, panelists presented the financial initiatives and programs that they offer to support local solutions to global environmental problems and empower Indigenous Peoples in their roles as guardians of nature. 

They all concluded that there is funding available to help solve the problems: “The money is there”, but all interested parties need to strengthen and clearly define good financial mechanisms as well as improved mechanisms for implementation, reporting, and follow-up. It is essential to ensure that climate finance is reaching Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. 

This productive discussion included: Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID, Andrea Johnson, Advisor, Global and Mexico and Central America Initiatives for the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), and Yoko Watanabe, GEF Small Grants Programme at UNDP. 

Caldwell from USAID stated, “Indigenous Peoples have been aware since a long time ago that the climate was changing in dangerous ways, and yet they are still sometimes marginalized from climate-related decision-making.” 

Johnson from CLUA called for building trust-based philanthropy and the co-creation of solutions. “CLUA is trying to shift the ways in which the money is channeled.”

Watanabe from the GEF Small Grants Programme at UNDP called attention to the ownership or programs, “It is very important that the decisions are owned and held by civil society and Indigenous Peoples.” She also mentioned that sharing lessons learned is essential. 

The last panel, Indigenous Led Initiatives – Nature Based Solutions, was dedicated to sharing good practices and lessons learned about collaborative conservation projects and nature-based climate change solutions. The two distinguished panelists: Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC Indigenous Foundation (IF), and Gustavo Sanchez, President of the Mexican Network of Forest Local Organizations (MOCAF) and Board of Directors of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), discussed how we can promote multi-sectoral alliances to co-create Indigenous-led financing for inclusive climate-based solutions. 

Souza stated, “We should be able to think about Indigenous economies and Indigenous businesses” in order for IPLCs to achieve sustainable self-development.  He also mentioned that IPLCs need to evaluate if they can see carbon markets as an opportunity. Indigenous Peoples have the capacity to manage their resources as they have been doing this for centuries, but at the same time, “We should be able to influence different spaces, to negotiate with different stakeholders, to manage the money at different scales.”

On the other hand, Sanchez spoke about global and regional programs they are developing with donors and expressed concern about the slow progress in some aspects. He called attention to the flexibility of programs in terms of priorities that are defined, “Donors need to understand what the other stakeholders require, to actually see the priorities in the territories and not just the priorities that donors have.” He called for action and closed with the statement: “We hope to get to the COP with more facts and not only with promises.”  

Francisco Souza closed the event with a message that we need to think about implementing the $1.7bn pledge made at COP26 to give funding directly to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, but we also need to bring together different stakeholders together to think beyond the pledge. 

View a recording of the webinar here.