The Regional dialogue of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean took place on 18-20 February in Managua, Nicaragua. Organised by the Government of Nicaragua, FILAC, and FAO and supported by the GCF Readiness Programme, the event brought together 100 participants, including representatives from 18 countries in the region including 25 Indigenous Peoples' organisations, delegates from NDAs of LAC Governments and Accredited Entities.
The meeting focused on engaging key stakeholders around Indigenous People`s priorities related to climate finance. Discussions covered the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Policy across all the GCF activities. It also involved exchanging experiences and best practices focusing on climate rationality of projects, investment criteria, project cycle, readiness, and preparatory support. Some new areas of collaboration were also identified between Latin American countries, including discussions on developing a multi-country readiness proposal to examine common Indigenous People’s issues.
The event culminated with the launch of the network of indigenous specialists in climate finance (REIFC). The network, comprised of 17 indigenous leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean, will promote the participation of Indigenous Peoples in international and national climate finance to ensure transparency, accountability, effectiveness, and inclusivity.
Myrna Cunningham, the Chair of FILAC said: “It is no coincidence that while the understaffed national parks of Peten, Guatemala have been burning out of control, nearby community managed forests have had practically no wildfires. To tackle climate change, we must look to the wisdom of our ancestors to help us change. And in our efforts to tackle the climate crisis, all of us, indigenous and not, should take to heart what we’ve learned from our ancestors in the past and what we hope for our descendants and the responsibility all of us have, throughout the ages and the world, to take action in the present.”
“This was the first indigenous focused regional dialogue since the adoption of the Indigenous Peoples Policy of the GCF, representing an important step in translating the fine words of the policy into actions on the ground,” said Sam Johnston, Indigenous Expert at the Green Climate Fund.
The GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy reflects the importance of fully and effectively engaging with Indigenous Peoples in the design, development, and implementation of the strategies and activities to be financed by GCF while respecting their rights. It assists GCF in incorporating considerations related to indigenous peoples into its decision-making while working towards the goals of climate change mitigation and adaptation.