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 representative Indigenous Peoples’ organizations at the global, regional and national levels, through analytical studies and through the implementation of projects and programs that involve direct 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 New York. In building wider alliances with the international indigenous community, the World Bank collaborates with several Indigenous Peoples Organizations in developing countries.
In April 2015, 30 leaders representing Indigenous Peoples from around the world held high level meetings with the World Bank senior management, the Board and President Kim. This Global Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples highlighted progress made, agreed on a set of priorities for collaboration, and built a platform for continued dialogue oriented to enhance World Bank’s partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
The World Bank is committed to both strengthening country capacity to enhance effective engagement with Indigenous Peoples and to build 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 (e.g., 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 Indigenous Peoples are key stakeholders given their close relationships with and dependence on forested lands and resources.
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:
- Costa Rica: The use of “cultural mediators” has facilitated involvement of Indigenous Peoples and campesino groups in the national REDD+ process by developing and using culturally appropriate materials and information.
- El Salvador: The establishment of a special dialogue platform (Mesa National Indigena) that includes leaders representing El Salvador’s four indigenous areas in the country has enhanced involvement and dialogue with the Government.
- Uganda: The application of a self-selection process to ensure that Indigenous Peoples and civil society is represented in the national REDD+ process has strengthened its transparency, openness, and legitimacy.
Indigenous Peoples and the Review and Update of the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies
From 2012 to 2016, the World Bank undertook an extensive review process to update and consolidate the Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies, in an effort to better address new development demands and challenges. Indigenous Peoples have been an integral part of the dialogue around this review and will continue to be a crucial partner in the roll-out and implementation of the new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF).
The three consultation phases of the safeguards review included a number of dedicated Indigenous Peoples Dialogue sessions as well as other consultations that have yielded excellent results in terms of participation, information gathered and the beginning of a renewed and stronger relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
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.
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2016