The World Bank is continuing to deepen its understanding of Indigenous Peoples issues and needs at the country and regional levels through analytical studies that will improve the design and implementation of projects and programs that involve Indigenous Peoples and through direct dialogue with indigenous leaders and their representative Indigenous Peoples Organizations.
The Bank participates each year in a number of international Indigenous Peoples’ fora, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York. In building wider alliances with the international indigenous community, the Bank collaborates with various IPOs in developing countries
The Bank is committed to both strengthening country capacity to enhance effective engagement with Indigenous Peoples as well as to build the capacity of Indigenous Peoples organizations. This support includes a dedicated grant mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and local communities by the Forest Investment Program (FIP), a Capacity Building Program for Forest-Dependent Indigenous Peoples by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and global, regional, and local consultations in the context of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Selected through the UNPFII, Indigenous Peoples are also observers to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).
Through its work, the World Bank seeks to position excluded groups, such as Indigenous Peoples, at the center of the development agenda. This includes:
- Strengthening the policy and institutional frameworks affecting Indigenous Peoples and their relations with other members of society;
- Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ capacity for self-development, based upon their own views and priorities, including cultural heritage and knowledge;
- Demonstrating the important role that Indigenous Peoples can play in the management of fragile ecosystems and biodiversity conservation; and in economic development, and;
- Disseminating experience and lessons learned from such indigenous development initiatives to national governments and the international donor community.
Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
Indigenous Peoples are disproportionally vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, given that they often live in environmentally sensitive areas (e.g., the Arctic region, tropical forests, mountains, deserts, etc.); and frequently depend primarily on surrounding biodiversity for subsistence as well as cultural survival. As a result, Indigenous Peoples hold traditional knowledge that may be critical to climate change adaptation. The 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 in the case of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) agenda, where Indigenous Peoples are key stakeholders given their close relationships with and dependence on forested lands and resources.
Global Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples
In 2012, the World Bank began a process to update and consolidate the Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies, in an effort to better address new development demands and challenges. Part of the ongoing review is a Global Dialogue and Engagement process with Indigenous Peoples that aims to include Indigenous Peoples in the ongoing World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards Review and Update process and to strengthen World Bank support to and engagement with Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
Both consultation phases of the safeguards review included a number of dedicated Indigenous Peoples Dialogue sessions that have yielded excellent results in terms of participation, information gathered and the beginning of a renewed and stronger relationship with Indigenous Peoples. The Dialogue is ongoing.
In July 2014, the Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) of the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors provided clearance to the Bank to consult publicly on the draft, including on Environmental and Social Standard (ESS) 7 for Indigenous Peoples that introduces the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). The second phase of consultations with stakeholders concluded on March 1.
The World Bank consulted widely with governments, private sector, and civil society, including Indigenous Peoples. The safeguards team is now revising the draft Environmental and Social Framework and will present an updated proposal to the Committee on Development Effectiveness in the summer of 2015.
Last Updated: Apr 06, 2015