The World Bank continues to deepen its understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ priorities, needs, and issues at the country and regional levels through direct dialogue with Indigenous Peoples’ organizations at the global, regional and national levels, through analytical studies and the implementation of projects and programs that involve participation of Indigenous Peoples.
Each year the World Bank participates in a number of international Indigenous Peoples’ fora, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). In building wider alliances with the international indigenous community, the Bank collaborates with several Indigenous Peoples organizations.
The Bank is committed to both strengthening country capacity to enhance effective engagement with Indigenous Peoples, and to building the capacity of Indigenous Peoples organizations. This support includes a Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM) for Indigenous Peoples and local communities funded by the Forest Investment Program (FIP); a Capacity Building Program for Forest-Dependent Indigenous Peoples by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF); as well as global, regional, and local consultations in the context of the FCPF. Selected through the UNPFII, Indigenous Peoples are also observers to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).
Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
Indigenous Peoples are disproportionally vulnerable to the impacts of climate change since they often live in environmentally sensitive ecosystems – such as the Arctic region, tropical forests, grasslands, mountains, or deserts – and frequently depend on surrounding biodiversity for subsistence as well as cultural survival. The World Bank aims to build on Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge when assisting countries in developing strategies to adapt to changing environmental patterns and conditions.
This is particularly relevant to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD+) agenda, where – given their close relationships with and dependence on forested lands and resources – Indigenous Peoples are key stakeholders.
The REDD+ readiness process that countries carry out with support of the FCPF has deepened the participation of and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, and has led to the establishment of engagement platforms in many participating countries. Some examples include:
- In Cameroon, civil society organizations worked with the REDD+ and Climate Change Platform in 2013 to reach out to 30 sub-districts to enhance the full, direct, and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in REDD+.
- From 2012 to 2014, the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) worked to boost the participation of indigenous and rural communities living in the Terai Hill and Mountain areas in REDD+ consultation and decision-making processes.
Indigenous Peoples and the Review and Update of the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies
In an effort to address new development demands and challenges, from 2012 to 2016 the Bank undertook an extensive review process to update and consolidate the Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies – and Indigenous Peoples were an integral part of the dialogue around this review.
The three consultation phases of the safeguards review included a number of dedicated Indigenous Peoples Dialogue sessions, yielding a high level of participation, information gathered, and a renewed and stronger relationship between the World Bank and Indigenous Peoples.
On August 4, 2016, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) that expands protections for people and the environment in Bank-financed investment projects.
The ESF includes an Environmental and Social Standard (ESS) 7 for Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities, which introduces the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
ESS7 contributes to poverty reduction and sustainable development by ensuring that projects supported by the Bank enhance opportunities for Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities to participate in, and benefit from, the development process in ways that do not threaten their unique cultural identities and well-being.
Indigenous Peoples will continue to be a crucial partner in the roll-out and implementation of the ESF.
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2017