The Green Climate Fund Adopts the Indigenous Peoples’ Policy

The Indigenous Peoples' Policy has finally been approved by Green Fund Climate. This is after a long process of consultation with various stakeholders on the Policy since the 17th Board meeting where the first draft was presented in the agenda. The policy draft was later presented in the 18th Board meeting after passing through various stages of input and elaborations with various stakeholders. The Indigenous Peoples groups have pushed for the Policy approval and finally their persistance has borne some fruit.

The Indigenous Peoples' Policy was finally approved on the 27th February, 2018 at the 19th Board meeting underway in Songdo, Korea

Why this Policy is very critical to the Indigenous people

It will;

  • Support and promote the positive contributions of indigenous peoples based on traditional knowledge systems, livelihoods, sustainable resource management systems and practices to climate change mitigation and adaptation in a manner that is accessible, culturally appropriate and inclusive;
  • Enable the critical role of indigenous peoples in assisting the GCF to ensure more effective, sustainable and equitable climate change results, outcomes and impacts;
  • Provide a framework for GCF to anticipate and avoid adverse impacts of its activities on indigenous peoples’ rights, interests and well-being and when avoidance is not possible, to minimize, mitigate and/or compensate appropriately and equitably for such impacts;
  • Enable and ensure the full respect for the rights, dignity, aspirations, identity, culture, and natural resource-based livelihoods of indigenous peoples in the whole spectrum of activities and initiatives of the GCF, in full alignment with applicable international obligations and standards such as International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP);
  • Recognize and respect in all GCF-financed activities, the indigenous peoples’ rights to collectively own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired;
  • Recognize, respect and protect the culture, knowledge, and practices of indigenous peoples, and to provide them with an opportunity to adapt to changing conditions in a manner and in a time frame acceptable to them;
  • Recognize, respect and protect their cultural and spiritual heritage and values, traditional knowledge, resource management systems and practices, occupations and livelihoods, customary institutions and overall well-being;
  • Recognize and effectively apply the principle of free, prior and informed consent,in accordance with relevant international laws and standards, and international best practice principles; and
  • Establish and maintain a continuing engagement based on fully informed consultation and effective participation of the indigenous peoples –including indigenous women and youth -affected by GCF-financed activities throughout the implementation of the activities

With its adoption, the Indigenous Peoples groups and Civil society at large have a greater role to efficiently and effectively engage in the implementation process  and ensure responsive and clear elaboration of various operational guidelines, methodologies and development of facilitative guidelines such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent.  Integration of the policy into other processes and supportive policies is imperative.

The engagement has therefore just started and the beauty of it is that a multi-stakeholder consultative process that has Indigenous peoples at the heart and steering wheel of this process has been established.



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Patricia Onyango
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