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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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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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Breaking Gaps, Achieving Dreams 

The FSC Indigenous Foundation celebrates the launch of the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan and is supporting its implementation.

CAMIP workshop

On Monday, October 17th, the Advisory Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CAMIP), the Ministry of Government of Panama, and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) launched the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP 2025)

This plan is a comprehensive and pioneering initiative that seeks the full inclusion and effective exercise of the socioeconomic rights of Panamanian Indigenous women, based on their protagonism and self-determination. It creates a space to convene multi-sectors including public and private actors to bring resources and commitment to support the Indigenous women of Panama. 

The FSC-IF is supporting the implementation of PEMIP through three of its components including ancestral cultural restoration, leadership, and governance. 

The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, and Ministry of Labor are committed and empowered to support the Plan, and Enred Panama is providing technical assistance.

Launch of the Indigenous Women’s Economic Empowerment Plan 

The launch, held at the Parlamento Latinoamericano, featured words from Janaina Tewaney Mencomo, Minister of External Relations, Rocío Medina, IDB Representative in Panama, Roger Tejada Bryden, Minister of Government, and from delegates of CAMIP including Elsy Pedrol, delegate from the General Congress of the Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, Briseida Iglesias, delegate of the General Congress of the Comarca Guna Yala, and Andrea Lino, delegate of the General Congress of the Collective Lands Emberá-Wounaan. 

Andrea Lino described the challenges and effort to develop this plan.

“We had to climb mountains to find ways to connect virtually and develop this plan. But we, as women, fighters, leaders of each territory, we made this great effort to arrive to this day.” 

Briseida Iglesias ended with a strong message for, “unity, sisterhood, and social equity.” 

Creation of an Indigenous Women’s Advisory Committee 

In 1993, the National Coordinating Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CONAMUIP) was created. It became evident that space was needed for Indigenous women’s voices after the National Roundtable of Indigenous Peoples in 2016 where there were few women decision-makers.

In 2018, under the leadership of Sara Omi, President of the Congress of Alto Bayano, CONAMUIP proposed the formal creation of this space. The Advisory Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CAMIP) was constituted, formed by twelve delegates representing each territory in the National Roundtable of Indigenous Peoples (CONDIPI). CAMIP receives, processes, and transmits information while at the same time is linked to the community and governance structures of the Indigenous Peoples of Panama. 

With the IDB and the Ministry of Government of Panama, CAMIP developed the Indigenous Women of Panama’s Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP 2025), based on conversations with various Indigenous women, evidence and data, analysis of policies, and consultation with experts. 

Beginning implementation 

Immediately after the launch of PEMIP, CAMIP met in a workshop supported by FSC-IF to discuss the implementation of the plan and the by-laws of CAMIP, as part of the activities that the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD) is supporting as part of PEMIP implementation. 

On October 21st, the FSC-IF supported another workshop with the CAMIP leaders and women chiefs on institutional strengthening of CAMIP, Indigenous women’s leadership, and the creation of a strategy to promote dialogue spaces for effective participation of Indigenous women as a tool for political incidence. At the end of the workshop, participants took a proactive role to participate in the different working groups that are part of the Plan’s axes to continue working on the implementation of the PEMIP for the benefit of their communities. 

In close collaboration with CAMIP, the Ministry of Government, the IDB, and ENRED, the FSC-IF is also working on implementation by developing a national Indigenous women’s organization registered in Panama to support the implementation of PEMIP, conducting a pilot in one Indigenous territory to create a guide to promote Indigenous women’s cultural preservation, drafting by-laws of CAMIP to improve its governance, and developing a strategy to increase participation of CAMIP in other national spaces related to the implementation of the PEMIP. 

The FSC-IF is committed to working with and for Indigenous women, who we know to be the guardians of ancestral knowledge providing solutions that will determine our future and the future of the planet. 

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Indigenous Leaders from Mesoamerica, Africa and Peru Participated in a Climate Change Negotiation Workshop

A few months before COP27 and as part of its strategy to strengthen the capacities of Indigenous Organizations around the world and catalyze holistic self-development, the FSC-IF developed a training workshop on climate change negotiation.

Panama City, Panama. Nearly 50 Indigenous leaders from 20 countries in Mesoamerica, Africa, and South America participated in a virtual workshop on climate change negotiation.

The goal of this workshop was to provide a formative space to strengthen organizations’ capacity to ensure the protection and promotion of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

A few months before the Climate Change Summit COP 27, to be held in Sharm El Sheik in Egypt from 6 to 18 November, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations must prepare themselves to be able to directly advocate for their economic, social, cultural, collective, and territorial rights.

In response to this need, the IPARD Program seeks to contribute to ensuring consistent and long-term technical, organizational and management capacity building, with the aim of empowering Indigenous Peoples as actors to engage and collaborate with the public and private sectors to co-create solutions that produce mutual benefits.   

“The knowledge I acquired will be useful for other Indigenous Peoples when I train them before the COP. Moreover, during the negotiations and the subsequent implementation of the convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, this knowledge will contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of Indigenous Peoples,” said one of the participants, Severin Sindizera, National Project Coordinator for the Partnership for Integration and Sustainable Development in Burundi.

The climate change negotiation workshop was structured in three participatory sessions conducted under the guidance of Eduardo Reyes, climate change expert, and the IPARD Program team of the FSC Indigenous Foundation. The Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Indigenous and Local Peoples’ Network for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and the RUZBUMET Foundation supported and participated in the workshop.

The workshop addressed topics related to the context of the negotiation spaces, the main regulations concerning Indigenous Peoples and forests, the contributions of Indigenous territories and countries, and recommendations on initiatives to make visible the contributions of forests in Indigenous territories to mitigate climate change in countries’ NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions).

The negotiators’ workshop has been a very important training space. As a young gunadule woman, it has helped me to learn about and affirm several issues that are important in climate change negotiations. For example: processes, the actors in the processes, the advocacy that we must do, the negotiating groups and coalitions that exist in the different countries, and the importance of the NDCs,” said Jocabed Solano from the Guna People of Panama and Director of Memoria Indígena.

Climate Change Negotiation Training

The first session featured a presentation on the United Nations Climate Change Conference including its itinerary, hierarchical structure, and the main mechanisms for structuring the thematic agendas and decision-making in the official sessions of the parties. Indigenous Peoples’ organizations learned in detail about the functioning of this advocacy space to be able to prepare their interventions to reach key audiences with national and international influence.

The second session focused on the main actors and coalitions involved in the climate negotiation process to clarify the dynamics of the official debates. Issues such as representation, organization of blocks and coalitions by country, region and priorities were covered. One of the most relevant topics of this session was the clarification of the process that Indigenous Peoples organizations must follow in order for their needs and proposals to be considered in this space. Eduardo Reyes explained that although Indigenous Peoples do not have an official representation space among the parties, they can influence this space through the agendas of national governments, which is why it is important to carry out sustained advocacy work in each of the territories.

The third session focused on analyzing the international commitments ratified by the countries and their relationship with Indigenous Peoples, with special emphasis on the Paris Agreement and its subsequent instruments. The analysis considered the environmental, social, and economic implications and impacts for Indigenous Peoples in scenarios of compliance and non-compliance with the main agreements. During the presentation, Eduardo Reyes stressed the importance of carefully analyzing each of the instruments in order to prevent negative impacts on Indigenous Peoples and organizations, especially those belonging to the Global South.

The second part of the third session included the participation of Marcial Arias Medina from the Guna People, and Edgar Correa from the Mayan community of Belize, experts on the implementation of the decisions that must be made and the steps that must be taken to carry out the analyses requested by the Warsaw REDD+ Framework, in line with the Paris Agreement. The experts presented topics related to the instruments and tools available to elaborate measurements and reports that highlight the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to the processes of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

During their presentations, Marcial and Edgar emphasized the importance of data and evidence. This information allows negotiators to understand the elements and techniques they need to support their discussions, as many decisions are made based on data and scientific information.

For more information see the full workshop below, available in English, Spanish, and French.

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples manage a quarter of the world’s land surface and their territories are home to resources vital to the survival of humanity and the planet, and are sources of global solutions to climate change and carbon cycle management.

Despite their global importance, Indigenous Peoples are some of the most affected by climate change. Their territories are suffering the consequences of extreme climate phenomena such as droughts, floods, forest fires, changing agrarian cycles that cause food scarcity, and shortages of medicines derived from forests and plants.

In addition, Indigenous territories are threatened by extractive, agro-industrial, and infrastructure activities that are some of the largest global sources of emissions that cause deforestation and pollution. According to figures presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “gas emissions from human activities are responsible for approximately a 1.1°C increase in temperature in the period from 1850 to 1900.” Increased human activities, such as those mentioned above, will contribute to the climate crisis and temperature increase.

Throughout history, Indigenous Peoples have successfully coped with various crises, including climate phenomena, based on their traditional knowledge and practices. As a result, a number of studies have been undertaken to identify the key to dealing with the crises affecting the world. According to research published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights is vital for conserving forests and tackling global warming. The same research revealed that 36% of intact forest landscapes are found in Indigenous territories and remain standing beacause of their traditional knowledge and practices.

“The survival of humanity is linked to the respect we show towards nature; by destroying nature, humans are destroying themselves, because we are part of nature,” said one of the workshop participants, Adolphe Bope Bope Kwete, focal point for Pygmy Dignity (DIPY) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The environmental, social, and economic impacts of climate change put communities, territories and forests at risk, which is why IPARD held this negotiation workshop with the aim of enabling leaders to promote their rights. According to Dina Juc, from the Maya Quiché people of Guatemala, responsible for the Human Rights area of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), “These tools help people to have concrete data and to present themselves with greater confidence when negotiating. This allows the Indigenous leaders who come to the negotiation space to have a strong support and base.”

Watch a video where she speaks more about the training.

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