25 November, 2017

Indigenous peoples strengthen capacities to input to GCF related policies and to understand IP access to the Fund

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Written by Helen Biangalen-Magata

 

Baguio City, Philippines - Twenty-four indigenous peoples from 10 indigenous peoples' organizations across 9 countries from Asia, Latin America and Africa participated in a back-to-back workshop aimed to come up with a solid position on different Green Climate Fund-related policies. The workshops were held on February 4-8, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The workshops focused on brainstorming of indigenous peoples’ concepts of possible project idea notes for the GCF and contributing to the ongoing calls of the GCF to input to their environmental and pother policies.

The Green Climate Fund, despite being established in 2010 under the UNFCCC as its financial entity, remains an unfamiliar institution for many indigenous peoples’ organizations.

“But despite it being new and seemingly technical, indigenous peoples should play a central role in engaging with their national focal points at the national level," Kimaren Riamit of ILEPA (Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners) of Kenya said.

The workshop participants agreed that without necessary safeguards and full participation of indigenous peoples in place, and while the GCF is already disbursing huge amount of money to developing countries, the Fund will become just another World Bank that implements project that could impact on communities negatively.

The partners have varying levels of engagement with the Green Climate, although most of them shared that they have difficulty in reaching out to their National Designated Authorities and in accessing any public information about how their countries are doing Readiness for the GCF. CERDA (Centre of Research and Development in Upland Areas) of Vietnam, for example, shared that the information they know about the GCF are mostly from the GCF website and from the website of an Accredited Entity that is implementing a project in Vietnam.

Others, such as partners from the Philippines and Nepal are yet to learn the status of their country's readiness on the GCF. Meanwhile, both MPIDO (Mainyoito Pastoralists Integrated Development Organization) and ILEPA of Kenya have submitted their individual project proposals to their national accredited entity, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), and are waiting for results.

Despite the apparent dearth of established relationship of some partners with their NDAs, indigenous peoples are building up their capacities to be able to engage more effectively at the national and international level.

At the end of the workshop, participants came up with a Global IP Programme that aims establish an enduring indigenous peoples-led programme that provides resources to indigenous peoples in developing countries to address climate change in the context of their own needs and sustainable development.

The 2 workshops were organized by Tebtebba, while the workshop to develop idea notes was co-organized with UNDP.