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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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Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC process through capacity development

At COP27, Indigenous leaders and partners shared successful cases of Indigenous participation in REDD+ strategies as part of the NDCs in Costa Rica and Peru

At COP27, the FSC Indigenous Foundation, the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Association for Research and Integral Development (AIDER), and Ecosphere+ convened experts at an event on November 16 in the UNFCCC Capacity Building Hub, Integrating Indigenous Peoples into the NDC process through capacity development. This event highlighted Indigenous communities effectively engaging in the carbon market and shared lessons, strategies, and recommendations to drive Indigenous capacity development. 

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are part of the strategy to achieve the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to commit to actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Indigenous Peoples are critical for climate mitigation, as their territories are sources of global solutions to climate change and are vital to conserving and restoring ecosystems. Indigenous Peoples and local communities are custodians of 20% of forest carbon in tropical and subtropical countries, which is equivalent to 218 billion tons of carbon, or more than 30 times the total global energy emissions in 2017.

It is critical to scale up and better integrate Indigenous Peoples in NDC processes with governments through capacity development. 

Case studies: Indigenous participation in the NDCs and lessons for capacity development 

A panel with Indigenous leaders and partner organizations shared initiatives in Costa Rica and Peru related to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism that are part of the NDCs.

Levi Sucre, Coordinator of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB) described his experience leading the consultation for the REDD+ strategy in Costa Rica. He explained how the government facilitated Indigenous leaders’
understanding of key issues such as climate change for the consultation process and the importance of having a young cultural mediator who speaks the Indigenous language to interpret and understand the REDD+ strategy.

He stated, “We need to integrate the Indigenous worldview into the REDD+ national strategy. These concepts must be understood in order to create a more integrated proposal.”

The next two panelists spoke about the Alianza Forestal, a Community Forest Management initiative that incorporates REDD+, developed by AIDER in Peru. 

Diana Mori, representative of the Shipibo-Conibo Indigenous group, spoke about Indigenous women’s participation in the struggle for collective rights and communal forests and how communities have adapted their traditional knowledge of forest management with proposals and voluntary standards for FSC certification. Indigenous Peoples need to understand climate finance and how certification mechanisms work.

She emphasized the resiliency of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous women.

“Communities have the capacity to adapt to change.”

Marioldy Sánchez, Head of Project Management at AIDER, discussed capacity development efforts with communities and their leaders on climate finance with REDD+ and the management of Indigenous forests with an integral perspective. She emphasized the importance of starting from the holistic perspective of Indigenous Peoples and training Indigenous leaders.

She stated, “Strategic alliances, such as the Forest Alliance, allow for capacity building for Indigenous Peoples. It is important that other sectors learn from the intersectoral dialogue of this experience and exchange ancestral knowledge.”

Berlin Diques, President of the Regional Organisation AIDESEP Ucayali (ORAU), spoke about how Indigenous Peoples are asking for clear public policies to protect the forests and mitigate climate change, and that strategic alliances are key to advancing and speeding up our processes. He emphasized that civil society and Indigenous organizations must take the lead in the process to develop technical capacities. 

He said, “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.”

Panelists concluded that Indigenous Peoples must be supported with improved capacity development to keep safeguarding forests and practicing nature-based solutions through existing mechanisms such as REDD+, certification, and the NDCs. 

Rita Spadafora, IPARD Program Lead for Capacity Development and Inclusion at the FSC Indigenous Foundation, moderated the event and closed with a message that we must focus on improving the capacities of Indigenous Peoples and governments to create the conditions for Indigenous Peoples to influence the climate agenda with the capacity to negotiate the recognition of their contributions to mitigate climate change within the NDCs.

View a recording of the event here, starting at 52:50 (in Spanish).

News

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

At COP27, FSC-IF signed Memorandums of Understanding with organizations and networks to identify and promote Indigenous-based solutions to the challenges facing our world.

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. 

Promoting Indigenous Peoples’ rights and self-development in Africa

The FSC-IF is forming strategic partnerships driven by, for, and with Indigenous Peoples in Africa through collaboration with REPALEAC, IPACC, and the Ogiek Peoples Development Program. 

REPALEAC is a sub-regional civil society organization with active national networks in Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Chad, and Rwanda. REPALEAC and its member organizations are acting to defend the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) as well as to protect the sustainability of the ecosystems to which they are intimately linked and on which their survival depends. 

The FSC-IF and REPALEAC established a joint work plan focused on capacity development of REPALEAC member organizations; participation in decisions concerning access to, and sustainable management of, lands, forests, and natural resources; and promoting and strengthening Indigenous economies. 

IPACC is a network of 135 Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in 21 African countries, headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, making it the largest Indigenous Peoples’ network in the world. It was founded to address the most pressing issues facing Indigenous Peoples in Africa including human rights violations, systematic legal and social discrimination, exclusion from decision-making, and political economy. 

The FSC-IF and IPACC developed a work plan to strengthen the capacities of IPACC members on issues of women’s rights and youth members on research and digital documentation; support IPACC members to develop a strategy for integrating the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), support IPACC members to conduct a study on the operationalization of FPIC in Indigenous territories, and facilitate the development of partnerships with key academic and research institutions. 

The Ogiek Peoples Development Program (OPDP) is a Kenyan human rights organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. It was formed by Ogiek elders, opinion leaders, and professionals after long land historical injustices that deprived the Ogiek community of their rights as Kenyan citizens. 

OPDP and the FSC-IF will work together to promote Indigenous Peoples’ rights and self-development in Africa, recognizing the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to protect the forest, the importance of their traditional knowledge, safeguarding cultures, and respect for the role of women in the region. 

Global partnership to scale-up Indigenous-based solutions 

Founded on Radical Listening, Health In Harmony is a rainforest conservation organization holistically addressing the health of people, ecosystems, and the planet. Its mission is to reverse tropical rainforest deforestation to halt the nature and climate crisis.

Together, we will work towards common goals by, for, and with Indigenous Peoples, on themes of forests, climate change, Indigenous economies, Indigenous leadership and capacity development, Indigenous financial mechanisms, and new funding opportunities. We will also explore the use of tools such as Radical Listening and Rainforest Exchange to facilitate Indigenous-designed solutions for climate, biodiversity, and human wellbeing.    

If you are interested in becoming a strategic partner of the FSC-IF, please contact us at: fsc.if@fsc.org 

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