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Scaling up Indigenous solutions to the climate change crisis

The Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Mesoamerican Climate Week 2023 will convene multi-sector actors to discuss and optimize climate change actions for the protection of our forests, people, and future.

Climate change is a pressing global issue that demands immediate attention. To shed light on the Indigenous perspective and present Indigenous-led actions to tackle this crisis, leaders from Mesoamerica and around the world will converge in Panama City, Panama, from June 13-16, 2023, for the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Mesoamerican Climate Week 2023. This event will serve as a platform for profound discussions on safeguarding our forests and securing the survival of our communities.

This forum, organized by the Mesoamerican Alliance for Peoples and Forests (AMPB) and supported by the FSC Indigenous Foundation through the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for the Rights and Development (IPARD), is a space designed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities to present their territorial experiences and explore, together with strategic allies, the valuable opportunities for direct territorial investment that will allow the scaling up of ancestral solutions to the climate crisis with a territorial perspective.

United against climate change

There is no single actor that can be successful in fighting climate change. We need collaboration among Indigenous Peoples, civil society, the private sector, and government to reduce climate risk by building on Indigenous-nature-based solutions.

Indigenous Peoples and local communities of the region are experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change and have developed innovative strategies to adapt to adversity. These communities influence approximately 50 million hectares of forests that host 8% of the world’s biodiversity and store 47% of the region’s forest carbon stocks. 

During this week, representatives from Indigenous and local communities will share their experiences of resilience, struggle, and adaptation in the face of increasingly extreme conditions.

This hybrid event will be attended by governments of the region, regional alliances, international cooperation, and philanthropic donors and will be organized by thematic days listed below.

A holistic approach to addressing climate change

At the FSC Indigenous Foundation, we know that Indigenous Peoples are inextricably linked to their lands and natural resources. For this reason, our Global Strategy focuses on Indigenous Cultural Landscaliving landscapes that hold immense value for Indigenous Peoples, who have maintained enduring pes, or relationships with the land, water, flora, fauna, and spirit. This approach recognizes and acknowledges the cultural and traditional way Indigenous Peoples manage their territories on the ground and incorporates a holistic territorial perspective into all our areas of work. 

We are supporting Climate Week through our Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD) Program and as part of our collective efforts to strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ organizations at the regional level to achieve self-development, self-governance, and self-reliance. We are working to empower a new generation of Indigenous leaders to combat the challenges of climate change and determine a different course of action for the future of the planet. This week will be an incredible opportunity to advance these goals and connect Indigenous and local communities with the resources they need to scale up their ancestral solutions that have been safeguarding our planet for millennia.

Join us to support ancestral Indigenous and community-based climate solutions for a sustainable future. 

Download the full agenda of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Mesoamerican Climate Week 2023 here and find more information on AMPB’s website.

The venue for the week is the Hotel El Panama in Panama City, Panama. Virtual connection and livestreaming of the sessions will be available in English and Spanish here.

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Launching the FSC Indigenous Foundation Global Strategy 2023-2027

Our Strategy was developed by, with, and for Indigenous Peoples to promote and support Indigenous-led actions and solutions.

We are Indigenous Peoples; our strategies and our future actions are shaped by ancestral knowledge, practices, cosmovision, values, and respect for Mother Earth and our past. 

We are Indigenous Peoples; we are ancestral guardians of Indigenous-based solutions to global challenges. We are part of the 500 million brothers and sisters who live, populate, and safeguard Mother Earth.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation is the global vehicle to design, manage, facilitate, and scale up Indigenous-led solutions through multi-sectoral partnerships.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation presents its Global Strategy 2023-2027, designed to reflect the aspirations of Indigenous Peoples as drivers of our organization.

The Strategy envisions to contribute to a future where Indigenous Peoples are recognized as providers, agents, guardians, and partners in solutions to global challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss, natural ecosystem degradation, desertification, and deforestation.

It was developed following an Indigenous perspective driven by Indigenous values, vision, principles, ancestral knowledge, and traditional practices connected to Mother Earth. It was shaped to respond to key challenges and opportunities faced by Indigenous Peoples to achieve their self-development, self-governance, and self-reliance.

The core action area of our strategy is Indigenous Cultural Landscapes, which guide and incorporate a holistic territorial perspective into all our programmatic areas of work.

Learn more and read our Global Strategy 2023 – 2027 here.

We look forward to working with you to support and promote Indigenous Peoples as key actors and providers of solutions to fight global challenges and promote inclusive and rights-based development for everyone.  

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Protected: Launching the Indigenous Learning Platform

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Introducing the second season of the podcast “Indigenous Voices”

Indigenous leaders discuss traditional knowledge, successful Indigenous businesses, and Indigenous women's rights.

On the International Day of Indigenous Peoples on August 9, the FSC Indigenous Foundation launched the podcast “Indigenous Voices” to recognize the global value of Indigenous Peoples, their rights, livelihoods, territories, and natural capital. In the episodes, we have conversations with Indigenous leaders to listen and learn from their experiences, knowledge, opinions, and analyses related to the global issues we face as human beings.

Listen to the first season here.

In the second season, we learn more about Indigenous women’s challenges, rights, and victories. We also learn about the role of traditional knowledge in the fight against climate change and the values, principles, and lessons that have made Indigenous businesses successful. This season features leaders and experts from Taiwan, Panama, the United States, and Kenya.

Episode 5 – A sustainable future for all

In the fifth episode of “Indigenous Voices,” Su Hsin, Indigenous civil engineer and human rights advocate of the Taiwan Papora Indigenous Development Association, discusses the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples in Asia in securing their rights. She highlights the importance of involving Indigenous women and youth in the effort to ensure a sustainable future for all.

From her experience in risk management, Su explains how traditional knowledge can help combat the crises humanity is facing, especially the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an Indigenous civil engineer, I know how to build a safe environment for the people. I use my traditional knowledge which I learned from my ancestors, and legends and stories, to know which places around the mountains and rivers are dangerous to build.” Su Hsin

Listen to the fifth episode here. 

Episode 6 – Women changing the world

In this episode, Aulina Ismare Opua, first elected cacica of the Wounaan People of Panama, discusses the situation of Indigenous women in Panama and Latin America, their participation in national and international leadership roles, and the importance of generating female empowerment initiatives that strengthen the capacities of Indigenous organizations.

Aulina will share the story of how she became the first woman cacica of the Wounaan People, the responsibilities and challenges this represents in her life, and her projects to strengthen the participation of Indigenous youth and women in Panama.

“We are going to represent, we are going to make Indigenous women visible in the future: today, tomorrow, and forever.” Aulina Ismare Opua

Listen to the sixth episode here (in Spanish).

Episode 7 – Education towards women’s empowerment

In the seventh episode of “Indigenous Voices,” Agnes Leina of the Samburu People, Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns and Gender Coordinator of IPACC, shares the reality of Indigenous women and girls in Kenya.

Agnes highlights the need for changes in communities that allow for better education, more opportunities for women, and the need to fight against female genital mutilation. In order to eradicate violence against Indigenous girls and women, Agnes states that it is necessary for women to be leaders in their communities so decisions will be made in favor of Indigenous women and girls.

Examining the root causes of gender-based violence, Agnes discusses the climate crisis that causes droughts and the shortage of food and water generated by the COVID crisis.

“Women need to sit in political leadership positions, and once they are there, they are able to make decisions. If you are not at the decision-making table, what do you expect? Unless you are at that table, everything will be decided and you will be left behind.” Agnes Leina

Listen to the seventh episode here.

Episode 8 – Succesful Indigenous companies

In the eighth episode of “Indigenous Voices,” we speak with Derik Frederiksen, director of FSC USA and member of the Tsm’syen People of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

Derik will tell us about his experience in forest conservation, his first experience of climate change, and his commitment to advancing Indigenous rights and culture to protect ancestral homelands.

He also speaks about Sealaska, an Indigenous company located in Southeast Alaska that works for and on behalf of the communities in the area.

“The decisions that we make as a People and as a company have largely been with the mindset: Whatever activity we do, whatever endeavor we embark in, we look at it through the lens that we want to be here for at least the next 13 thousand years. Derik Frederiksen

Listen to the eighth episode here.

Music and sound identity

The music for “Indigenous Voices” was developed to show the global diversity and current identity of Indigenous Peoples, combining traditional and technological elements.

A full musical piece was composed for this podcast, entitled “Pueblos.” The composition is in the key of E minor as this tonality is one of the most used by Indigenous Peoples around the world. The main melodies have a modal character with a strong influence from pentaphony. They are played by a duo of “ngoni,” a West African stringed instrument whose timbre is similar to the harp, lute, banjo, and birimbao.

The composition also features a vocal section that combines male and female singers, strengthening the sense of multiplicity and wholeness. The voices sing the word “Peoples” in different languages, including Indigenous languages: 

nonampi (Asháninka), iwi (Maorí), ol-orere (Maasai), vezahka (Sapmi), peoples (English), pueblos (Spanish), povos (Portuguese)

This mix is intended to reinforce the idea of the wholeness of Indigenous Peoples without losing sight of the particularity of each Peoples’ identity.

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