The World Bank is continuing to deepen its understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ priorities, needs and issues 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 organizations.
Each year the 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 Bank collaborates with various Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) in developing countries.
In April 2015, 30 leaders representing Indigenous Peoples from around the world held high level meetings with the World Bank as part of its engagement process. The Global Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples highlighted progress made and provided representatives of Indigenous People’s groups with a platform to help chart the Bank’s roadmap to continue strengthening its partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
The Bank is committed to both strengthening country capacity to enhance effective engagement with Indigenous Peoples as well as to strengthen and 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), 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).
The World Bank seeks to position excluded and marginalized sectors of society, such as Indigenous Peoples, at the center of the development agenda. This includes:
- Strengthening the policy and institutional frameworks affecting Indigenous Peoples
- Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ priorities and views of self-development, through capacity development in line with cultural values and traditional knowledge;
- Demonstrating the important role that Indigenous Peoples can play in the management of fragile ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, climate resilience; and economic development, and;
- Disseminating experience and lessons learned from 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 since they often live in environmentally sensitive ecosystems (e.g., the Arctic region, tropical forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts) and frequently depend on surrounding biodiversity for subsistence as well as cultural survival 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 to 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.
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:
- The use of “cultural mediators” in Costa Rica to facilitate social inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and campesino groups in the national REDD+ process by developing and using culturally appropriate materials and information.
- The creation of a special platform (Mesa National Indigena) by the government of El Salvador which includes Indigenous People leaders representing all four indigenous areas in the country.
- A self-selection process to ensure that Indigenous Peoples and civil society representation in national REDD+ implementation in Uganda is transparent, open and legitimate.
Indigenous Peoples and the Review and Update of the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies
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. Indigenous Peoples have been 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 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. This dialogue is ongoing.
In March 2016, the World Bank completed consultations on a second draft Environmental and Social Framework. This draft includes a proposal for an Environmental and Social Standard (ESS) 7 for Indigenous Peoples, which proposes to introduce the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
The World Bank consulted widely with governments, private sector, and civil society, including Indigenous Peoples. The Bank is now reviewing and considering the feedback received and will present an updated proposal for discussion with the Committee on Development Effectiveness of the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors later this year. The full Board, which represents the World Bank’s 188 member states, will make the final decision about the proposed Framework including the Environmental and Social Standard for Indigenous Peoples.
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2016