Wildlife & Biodiversity

Less than 1% mitigation & adaptation funding went to world’s indigenous groups despite more commitment: Report

A Global Biological Framework Fund (GBFF) will be launched in the upcoming 7th Global Environment Facility Assembly from August 22-26, 2023 

By Shagun
Published: Friday 11 August 2023
Photo: iStock

Even though the volume of commitments of funding for Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IP and LC) in improving conservation has increased in recent years, the funding landscape has not changed much for them. 

A new report summarising the first phase of implementation of the Inclusive Conservation Initiative (ICI), endorsed in January 2022, highlights that while there is mounting evidence on the potential of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in improving conservation, in total, donors have directed less than 1 per cent of climate change mitigation and adaptation funding to IPs and LCs. 

The report, which was launched on August 9, 2023 on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, said that if the world seeks to realise the rights and priorities of IPs and LCs, significant scaling is needed. 

In June 2023, during the Subsidiary Bodies 58 (SB 58) conference in Bonn, Germany, Indigenous Peoples’ groups from around the world, including India, called for representation on the Transitional Committee (TC) for the establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund (LDF). The committee is composed of 24 members, 10 of whom are from developed countries and 14 from developing countries. 

They want representation so that their views on losses and damages being suffered by their communities and their knowledge on addressing the loss and damage can be taken into account by the TC in the recommendations for the full operationalisation of LDF.  

While Indigenous Peoples own or manage an estimated 25 per cent of the world’s land surface, including 40 per cent of terrestrial protected areas and 37 per cent of ecologically intact landscapes, recent assessments estimate that only 7 per cent of $1.7 billion in pledged funding is going directly to Indigenous groups, the report said. 

IPs and LCs, severely impacted by climate change and environmental degradation, have long advocated for loss and damage funding but have had few opportunities to engage with decision makers. 

To date, in Latin America, for example, although national and local non-governmental organisations (NGO) implement 26 per cent of disbursements, 41 per cent of all funding are ascribed to Indigenous Peoples’ organisations, indicating that local efforts are currently the central source of conservation funding, the report said. 

“We cannot reach global goals on marine and landscape protection without supporting the leadership of Indigenous communities. We hope that ICI will encourage other funders and governments to adopt more inclusive approaches,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, chief executive and chairperson, Global Environment Facility.  

A Global Biological Framework Fund (GBFF) will be launched in the upcoming 7th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly from August 22-26, 2023 in Vancouver, Canada. 

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