Historical COP26 Climate Commitments in support to Indigenous Peoples
and Local Communities require accountability and transparency
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) applauds its members- The Christensen Fund, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, Nia Tero, and Oak Foundation who have joined with governments with their commitment to support Indigenous communities globally to fight against the climate crisis.
The historical commitments made by the UK, Norway, Germany, the US, and the Netherlands, in partnership with 17 foundations pledge $ 1.7 billion investment to support Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to protect the biodiverse tropical forests that are vital to protecting the planet from climate change, and biodiversity loss. The pledge also commits to “the effective participation and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in decision-making and to include, consult, and partner with them in the design and implementation of relevant programs and finance instruments, recognizing the specific interests of women and girls, youth, persons with disabilities, and others often marginalized from decision-making.”
In the weeks leading up to COP 26, the Protecting Our Planet Challenge committed $5 billion USD over 10 years to create, expand, manage, and monitor protected and conserved areas of land, inland water, and sea. Twenty percent of this pledge, or $1 billion, has been earmarked specifically for work with Indigenous communities.
According to the ILO Report, there are estimated to be 476.6 million Indigenous Peoples, constituting 6 percent of the global population. Although Indigenous Peoples have the lowest global carbon footprint, they are most impacted by climate change. Supported by numerous studies, it is undeniable that Indigenous land tenure rights and a rights-based approach is an effective solution to halting deforestation, preserving biodiversity of critical tropical forest ecosystem, sequestering carbon and respecting Indigenous Peoples rights. Even with mounting evidence, Indigenous communities receive a negligible amount of climate funding (< 1%) despite their owning, managing, using, or occupying over 25% of global land area, including 50% of forests and 80% of forest biodiversity which stores 22% of all carbon.
While this is a moment of celebration, these commitments are not sufficient until they are translated into action. IFIP looks forward to seeing funding reach Indigenous-Led Funds, Indigenous organizations and networks directly allowing for Indigenous Peoples to benefit from these past due and timely commitments. IFIP calls on philanthropy and international donors to be transparent and accountable towards the commitments they have made and ensure that Indigenous Peoples are able to make self-determined use of climate funding. As the only global donor network dedicated to Indigenous Peoples worldwide, IFIP welcomes partnering with the foundations who are part of these commitments to serve as an accountability partner to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are at the center of the decision-making process and that there are transparent mechanisms for Indigenous led organizations to access funding.
Executive Director, IFIP
Membership and Communications Coordinator