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Thursday, 26th March 2020 - The International Indigenous Women’s Forum together with the regional networks Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas (ECMIA), Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y México (AMICAM), Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN), African Indigenous Women’s Organization (AIWO) stands in solidarity with Indigenous women as we continue facing the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19.

This pandemic is increasing intersectional disadvantages already impacting on indigenous women in addition to the impoverishment, limited access to health services and clean water, forced displacement from our territories, degradation of natural resources due to extractive industries, energy projects, and the consequences of climate change that affect Indigenous Peoples in general. 

Therefore, Indigenous Women’s networks urge the Member States and the authorities:

    To recognize the leadership of the indigenous authorities and their own forms of organization as Indigenous Peoples.

    To use indigenous languages within the communities due to the very crucial needs for effective information and preventive actions against COVID 19.

    To guarantee the access and management of clean water and sanitation in the indigenous communities.

    To ensure rapid availability of disaggregated data of Indigenous Peoples, including on differing rates of infection, economic impacts, differential care burden, deaths, and incidence of gender-based violence in communities.

    To ensure equal access of health care, materials and support to indigenous communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. This should be responsive to the culture and situations of Indigenous Peoples including the recognition and support to indigenous health care providers.

    To support Indigenous communities who are making the decision in self imposing lockdowns or limitations to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in their communities. Indigenous Peoples already face challenges such as limited medical facilities, health issues and overcrowding housing. 

    To promote programs, subsidies, policies and strategies that will sustain the economy of indigenous communities, women entrepreneurship, youth, peoples with disabilities, migrants who will be affected due to the social and economic consequences of this pandemic. Most Indigenous Peoples sustain themselves and their families through daily informal economy.

    To rethink the economic and social paradigm based on capitalism, the accumulation and privatization of services and natural resources; going back to the collective vision.

Finally, we call to maintain unity, solidarity and reciprocity. This crisis shows us as collective beings, the basic principle of Indigenous Peoples, where we are all interconnected. Therefore, prevention, collective care and spirituality are important for the balance of humanity and Mother earth.

In Solidarity,

ECMIA, AMICAM, AIWN, AIWO

Manila (March 8)— “These are dangerous times for indigenous women,” says Kakay Tolentino, the National Coordinator of BAI Indigenous Women’s Network.

According to the Alta-Dumagat leader, the US-China-Duterte regime’s continued adherence to neoliberal policies coupled by relentless militarization and widescale violations of our human rights and our right to self-determination pose danger to indigenous communities and indigenous women.

Tolentino, along with indigenous women and indigenous people’s rights advocates, joins the thousands of women protesting on the occasion of the Women’s Global Strike on the International Working Women’s Day 2020. Bannering the call, "BAI Strikes for Land, Rights, and Climate Justice", the indigenous women’s organization highlighted the plunder of ancestral lands and territories as a result of the Duterte government’s build, build, build program.

Among the core projects of the build, build, build is the Kaliwa-Kanan-Laiban dams.The Kaliwa dam is currently being funded by onerous loan agreements with China and is on its way to be constructed. “Duterte’s minions have railroaded this project to deceive the public in addressing the water crisis in Metro Manila at the expense of indigenous peoples,” Tolentino said. Despite the reverberating opposition from the communities  especially the Dumagat-Remontado in the provinces of Quezon and Rizal, and violations of the process of the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), Duterte persistently threatened to use his “extraordinary powers” to coerce the people in accepting the dam project.

She cited that the government currently pursues other dam, mining, and land conversion projects that would displace hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples. For instance, of the 447 approved mining applications, 230 covered ancestral territories and encroach at least 542,245 hectares of ancestral lands. In lieu of the New Clark City, the Ayta in Tarlac and Pampanga are forcibly being driven out of their lands, despite the absence of FPIC.

For Tolentino, such aggressive plunder of ancestral lands and territories not only displaces indigenous peoples but also destroys the environment. “It will aggravate the climate crisis as these ‘projects’ destroy our natural ecosystems being harnessed by indigenous peoples.”

The indigenous woman leader also reiterated that government resorted to fascism to instill fear and force communities to adhere to these destructive projects. “Brazen attacks against community opposition have been launched by the military and police to silence us,” she said, noting the worsening red-tagging, harassment, filing of trumped up charges, arrest and detention and worse, extrajudicial killings among the ranks of on indigenous peoples in the country.

Tolentino mentioned the killings of women Lumad leaders Beverly Geronimo and Bai Leah Tumbalang, both opposed to mining projects in their communities as clear pictures of state-sponsored terrorism carried out with impunity. “Now that the revisions to the Anti-Terrorism Law are being railroaded in the Philippine Congress, more indigenous women who staunchly defend ancestral lands and advocate the right to self-determination might be subjects for further attack.”

Yet, in these dark times, Tolentino stated, “the courage exemplified by our ancestors, our mothers, and our sisters are our beacon of hope.” The stories of Ina Petra Macli-ing and Ina Endena Cogasi in the Cordilleras and Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay of Pantaron range proved the power of indigenous women’s collective strength in holding the government and the corporations accountable for plunder. 

“That is the reason why we continue to struggle and march with women from other sectors. To carry on and to defend the future of our children and communities,” she concluded. #

For reference:

Kakay Tolentino, National Coordinator, BAI Indigenous Women’s Network

2020 is the year for women

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020

2020 is a massive year for gender equality. And the benefits of gender equality are not just for women and girls, but for everyone whose lives will be changed by a fairer world that leaves no one behind. It’s the year for what we call “Generation Equality”. With the leadership of civil society, we’re mobilizing to realize women’s rights, and to mark 25 years of implementing the Beijing Platform for Action.

We’re enabling women to influence the decisions about their future. Generation Equality tackles issues of women across generations, from early to late years, with young women and girls at the centre.

We don’t have an equal world at the moment and women are angry and concerned about the future. They are radically impatient for change. It's an impatience that runs deep, and it has been brewing for years.

We do have some positive changes to celebrate. For example, there has been a 38 per cent drop in the ratio of maternal deaths since 2000. 131 countries have made legal reforms to support gender equality and address discrimination. Twenty-five years ago, discrimination of women was legislated in many countries. Today, more than three-quarters of countries have laws against domestic violence in place. And more girls are in school than ever before, with more women in tertiary education than men globally.

But even though there has been progress, no country has achieved gender equality. Our best hasn't been good enough. Challenges remain for all countries, although many of them are not insurmountable.

Meantime, girls are making no secret of their disappointment with the stewardship of our planet, the unabated violence directed against them and the slow pace of change in fulcrum issues like education. For example, despite improved school enrolment, 1 in 10 young women today are still unable to read and write. This has to change in order for girls to fully own their power, take their place in the world, and play their vital role in technology and innovation.

Another priority target for our impatience is the lack of women at the tables of power. Three-quarters of all parliamentarians in the world are men. A proven solution is to introduce legally binding quotas for women’s representation. Nearly 80 countries have already successfully done so and a few States have gender-balanced cabinets and explicitly feminist policies. This is a desirable trend that we need to see more of in both public and private sectors, where overall the proportion of women in managerial positions remains around 27 per cent, even as more women graduate from universities.

The same goes for women at the peace table, where the vast majority of the negotiators and signatories are men. We know women’s involvement brings more lasting peace agreements, but women continue to be marginalized. Women’s groups and human rights defenders face persecution yet are ready to do more. For this they desperately need increased security, funding and resources.

My greatest impatience is with unmoving economic inequality. Women and girls use triple the time and energy of boys and men to look after the household. That costs them equal opportunities in education, in the job market and in earning power. It’s a driver of repeating poverty. Young women raising families are 25 per cent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty, affecting millions of young children, with impacts that last into later life for both mother and child. The solution includes good policies that promote more equality in childcare responsibilities and that provide state support to families, and those who work in the informal economy.

So, though we are radically impatient, we are not giving up and we are hopeful. We have growing support from allies and partners who are ready to tackle barriers against gender equality. We see the driving will for change across generations and countries. We are locating issues that unite us and that offer opportunities to disrupt the status quo. Lessons learnt in the last 25 years have shown us what is needed to accelerate action for equality. Generation Equality is one of our answers and together, we are that generation.

Source: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2020/2/statement-ed-phumzile-international-womens-day

Produced by Lindsay Bigda, Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer, Rights and Resources Initiative and Silene Ramirez, Gender Justice Manager, Rights and Resources Initiative

Stories from the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Coalition and beyond illustrate how indigenous and community women and girls — among the worst affected by climate change and inequality — are also uniquely positioned to provide solutions to the climate crisis.

The idea of “nature-based solutions” to the climate crisis is gaining ground. At the heart of successful nature-based solutions is recognizing the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who manage many of the world’s forestlands and biodiversity hotspots. This includes respecting communities’ traditions, ending the criminalization of land rights defenders, and justice for the indigenous and community women who play a critical role in managing the resources we all rely on.  

Gender justice within community-held territories is a climate solution 

Up to 2.5 billion people worldwide — more than half of whom are women — manage their territories collectively. Women and girls play a critical role in the sustainable management of community lands and forests, while meeting the livelihood needs of their families and larger communities. In the context of rapidly changing economic and political structures, this role is only growing.  

Yet few women hold legally recognized rights to the lands and forests they protect, and are often cut out of decision-making spaces at all levels. This hinders communities’ self-determination and their capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing global environment.  

 “Some people think we hear ‘climate change’ and don’t know what it means, but we are seeing these changes—in the weather, in heavy rains and the sea,” explained Candida Jackson, a community leader from Honduras. “Ancestrally, we are the ones to educate our younger generations about how to use and conserve forests, lands, soil, water, air. We understand the changes and we know how to reforest.” 

Failure to recognize women’s land rights threatens communities and the environment 

Indigenous peoples and local communities manage over half the world’s land, yet only have secure legal ownership over 10% of global land. There is ample evidence of the link between recognizing community land rights and positive climate outcomes and such benefits can only be achieved when the rights of all community members are fully recognized, especially those of women and girls.  

A global study of 30 countries representing three-quarters of the developing world’s forests found that none provide adequate recognition of women’s rights to community forests. Women’s governance rights — voting and leadership — were the least protected. Without secure rights, women are often excluded from negotiations with private and government actors that could affect their territories for generations, as well as climate and development processes like REDD+. Until their rights are recognized, we risk losing the vital contributions of forest communities.  

Indigenous and community women are transforming leadership — from the inside out 

Indigenous and community women are exercising leadership grounded in their communities’ collective defense of their rights and lands, and in the process are gaining a voice in international fora.  

 “Indigenous women must be present in these processes,” said Cris Pankararu, a young indigenous leader from Brazil. “But we are not in front of nor behind the men. Our role is to be beside them — to build partnerships and to help grow the movement.” 

This change often starts in communities themselves. Indigenous and community women have established their own organizations, such as ONAMIAP (the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Women in Peru) and FECOFUN (the Federation of Community Forest Users in Nepal), to shift community norms toward respect for women’s rights.

They have also built regional movements and networks — such as REFACOF (the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests) and the Coordinating Body of Women Territorial Leaders of Mesoamerica — to make visible their critical contributions and strengthen their capacity to engage with decision-makers. Their combined successes include establishing quotas for women’s participation in decision-making bodies, modifying community norms, creating training programs for women, and winning seats in local elections.    

“We can help ourselves by creating our own organizational policies,” explained Rukka Sombolinggi, the first female general secretary of the world’s largest indigenous network, AMAN in Indonesia. “When we want to ask others to change, we have to first change our own structures. It’s the only way we have legitimacy.”  

The world is taking notice, but much more is needed 

Speaking at Climate Week in New York, Sonia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), reflected on the long journey toward more meaningful participation in the international climate movement: “For a long time, women could be present in these spaces, but we could not say anything. Now, we are here as leaders defending our rights and our causes directly. Being in this international space, participating at the UN — this is a victory.” 

Yet too often, Indigenous Peoples and local communities are still treated as potential beneficiaries of climate and development programs — not as partners, leaders, or drivers of the changes our world needs. We must leverage indigenous and community women’s knowledge and invest directly in their conservation, governance, and leadership. We, as a global community, are missing a huge opportunity by not doing so. 

Source: https://deliverforgood.org/harnessing-the-potential-of-indigenous-and-community-women-to-provide-climate-solutions/

November 25--The United Nations is committed to ending all forms of violence against women and girls.

These abuses are among the world’s most horrific, persistent and widespread human rights violations, affecting one in every three women in the world.

That means someone around you. A family member, a co-worker, a friend. Or even you yourself.

Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination.

Let us not forget that the gender inequalities that fuel rape culture are essentially a question of power imbalances. 

Stigma, misconceptions, underreporting and poor enforcement of the laws only perpetuate impunity.

And rape is still being used as a horrendous weapon of war.

All of that must change… now.

I call on governments, the private sector, civil society and people everywhere to take a firm stand against sexual violence and misogyny.

We must show greater solidarity with survivors, advocates and women’s rights defenders.

And we must promote women’s rights and equal opportunities.

Together, we can – and must -- end rape and sexual assault of all kinds.

-- António Guterres

 

Source: https://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/messages.shtml

We already know the solution to climate change: reduce emissions and protect forests. And luckily, there is a group of experts who are uniquely suited to manage, protect, and restore the world’s forests: Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

We have unique knowledge of the areas where we live—which overlap with many remaining forests and biodiversity hotspots. Sixty-five percent of the most remote areas on Earth are indigenous lands. The forests we manage have lower deforestation rates, higher carbon storage, and higher biodiversity conservation than government protected areas.

UN-funded research on biodiversity earlier this year found that 1 million species are under threat—and that recognizing our land rights can help stop this devastating loss. Other recent research found that indigenous and community forests store nearly 300 billion metric tons of carbon. And the recent IPCC report found that securing our rights is a climate change solution—resulting in lower deforestation rates and better carbon storage.

Our sustainable stewardship is key to keeping the carbon in the trees and soil and limiting the rise of global temperatures. Failure to legally recognize our rights, by contrast, leaves our lands vulnerable to agro-industrial production, destructive mining and logging practices, and large-scale infrastructure developments. These can devastate forests, release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and threaten the biodiversity all humanity relies on. In Brazil, for example, President Jair Bolsonaro threatens to strip away legal protections for our rights in the Amazon—threatening the very lungs of the planet.

No one knows the conflicts playing out among food, fuel, and forests better than Indigenous Peoples and local communities. We’re often in the cross-hairs of conflicts over land, especially forests. Indigenous forests are often destroyed—and Indigenous Peoples forced from their homes—to make way for palm oil plantations, soy, and cattle farms. But none of these improve food security. Community lands feed billions of people—including many of the world’s poorest people—and forests under our management benefit more people than plantations.

Forests remove a third of the carbon emissions added to the atmosphere each year. They clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, control rain and weather patterns, protect precious biodiversity, and strengthen climate resilience. The best way to realize all these benefits is to recognize the rights of forest guardians. So, we do not have to choose between people and planet. We can protect both.

Yet while we live on and manage over half of global lands, we have legal rights to only 10 percent. And when we stand up for our rights, the answer is often violence. The recent Global Witness report found that last year, an average of three land rights defenders were killed every week. Many more suffer harassment, criminalization, and violence.

Forests—and the people who protect them—are the only safe, affordable, large-scale solution to carbon capture. And Indigenous Peoples know how to manage their forests better than anyone else. Invest in recognizing our rights. Together we can prevent the worst effects of climate change.

The overwhelming reality of discrimination of and violence to indigenous women in particular and of indigenous peoples in general illustrates that they are extremely lagging behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This report aims to demonstrate this reality with a focus on Goal 10 “Reduce inequality within and among countries’’ and Goal 16 “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies” and its linkages to Goal 5: “Empowerment of women and girls”.

21 June 2019

GENEVA (ILO News) – A new Convention and accompanying Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the world of work have been adopted by the International Labour Conference  (ILC). 

The Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, and Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019 , were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference, in Geneva. For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against and 44 abstentions. 

The Convention recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse…is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.” It defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” It reminds member States that they have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance”. 

The new international labour standard aims to protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status, and includes persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants. It recognizes that “individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer” can also be subjected to violence and harassment. 

The standard covers violence and harassment occurring in the workplace; places where a worker is paid, takes a rest or meal break, or uses sanitary, washing or changing facilities; during work-related trips, travel, training, events or social activities; work-related communications (including through information and communication technologies), in employer-provided accommodation; and when commuting to and from work. It also recognizes that violence and harassment may involve third parties. 

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder welcomed the adoption. “The new standards recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment,” he said.” The next step is to put these protections into practice, so that we create a better, safer, decent, working environment for women and men. I am sure that, given the co-operation and solidarity we have seen on this issue, and the public demand for action, we will see speedy and widespread ratifications and action to implement.” 

Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Workquality Department, said: “ Without respect, there is no dignity at work, and, without dignity, there is no social justice. This is the first time that a Convention and Recommendation on violence and harassment in the world of work have been adopted. We now have an agreed definition of violence and harassment. We know what needs to be done to prevent and address it, and by whom. We hope these new standards will lead us into the future of work we want to see.” 

The Convention will enter into force 12 months after two member States have ratified it. The Recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the Convention could be applied. 

This is the first new Convention agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011, when the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189)  was adopted. Conventions are legally binding international instruments, while Recommendations provide advice and guidance. 

The ILO, the UN’s agency dealing with world of work issues, is marking its 100th year in 2019 

The Centenary ILC  – the 108th meeting of the Conference – was attended by more than 5,700 delegates, representing governments, workers and employers from the ILO’s 187 member States. The Conference is also expected to adopt a landmark ILO Centenary Declaration, focused on a human-centred approach to the future of work. 

Source: https://www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/108/media-centre/news/WCMS_711321/lang--en/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR0iiXfCKq94L8F0uoFrTsrP2bayzcJqqvKWUbrx-m_t5I6EmGmLZOJkq-c

Across the globe, indigenous and rural women make invaluable contributions to their communities and toward global sustainable development and climate goals.

They use, manage, and conserve the community territories that comprise over 50 percent of the world’s land and support up to 2.5 billion people.

The problem: Despite women’s crucial roles as forest and household managers, food providers, and leaders of rural enterprises, the land rights of indigenous and rural women remain constrained by unjust laws and practices. Women are often locked out of decision-making processes at all levels, threatening their economic security and personal agency, as well as the forests they manage and protect.

Read more at https://rightsandresources.org/en/blog/case-for-optimism-womens-land-rights/#.XOo0V_nSK02

Nine focal points of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN) have gathered in Baguio City, Philippines last April 2-7 for a strategic coordination meeting and training.

The meeting was called to review the results of the Fourth AIWN Conference last 2018 and to define and unite on actions and strategies for AIWN for the next three years while banking on the conference declaration and looking forward to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Beijing Platform of Action (BfPA).

The meeting also introduced the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the financial entity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The focal points were also taught how to maximize social media for visibility of indigenous women in broadening their advocacy reach.

The current United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNSRRIP) Victoria Tauli-Corpuz who is also the convenor of the AIWN stressed in her keynote address that the measure of indigenous women’s success is how they have succeeded in empowering their communities especially the indigenous women.

“We assert our right to self-determination to pursue our economic, social and cultural development,” she said, while emphasizing that strengthening their communities is where the power comes from and that AIWN has many works to do.

Describing the situation of the indigenous women, Tauli-Corpuz said that the indigenous women are highly discriminated, being trafficked, indigenous women human rights workers criminalized among others.

The UNSRRIP also stressed that indigenous women can develop and strengthen their communities creating possibilities on their own and should continue asserting their rights to governance, cultural integrity and diversity. She encouraged the focal points to look at the SDGs and determine what activities to be undertaken including submission of consolidated assessment report on the SDGs and indigenous women in Asia.

As the UNSRRIP, she will submit her thematic report on indigenous justice systems this 2019 and encouraged the women to submit their contributions to her report.

 

“We cannot say, ‘Cannot’”

The regional and country focal points, who were identified during the fourth AIWN conference in Bangkok, Thailand last October 2018, have identified major and specific activities they can do for the next three years, from 2020 to 2022, while mapping their capacities, the current and emerging challenges they confront and their proposed actions in response to the challenges.

Activities are primarily on building the capacities of indigenous women especially on their leadership skills and raising their awareness, lobbying and advocacy, documentation and reporting, and economic empowerment.

Being organized at the community to the regional level with capabilities and high commitment to reach out to other stakeholders, to monitor the situation of indigenous women, to lobby the governments are among the strengths of the indigenous women’s organizations the focal points have presented.

They also said that lack of resources, government regulations and government insensitivity to indigenous peoples, language barrier, lack of capacity or expertise of indigenous women, political conditions, discrimination against indigenous women from highly patriarchal relations, lack of appropriate information and communications technologies, lack of disaggregated data, lack of participation of indigenous women in decision-making are among the challenges they face in the implementation of the three-year activities they set.

Capacity building through trainings of indigenous women including men, fund raising, continuing lobby and advocacy and participation to important fora a such as at the sessions of the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are also among the actions they identified to undertake in response to the challenges.

Ms Lat Sok Em, participating on behalf of the focal point of indigenous women in Cambodia, said that they cannot say they cannot work on the activities they have identified as those are all geared towards the best interest of the indigenous women in their communities.

 

Understanding the Green Climate Fund

Ms Helen Biangalen-Magata, the Southern CSO alternate active observer at the GCF and staff of Tebtebba, provided an overview of the GCF and its Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Policy as part of the training of the focal points. She said that there are project portfolios with the GCF that affect indigenous communities and understanding the GCF is an important step for the AIWN focal points.

The GCF, headquartered at Songdo, South Korea, was established during the UNFCCC’s 16th Conference of Parties (COP) in Cancun, Mexico in 2010, as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC. The GCF Board composed of 24 members representing developed and developing countries equally govern the Fund and are accountable to and functions under the COP.

In 2018, it adopted the Indigenous Peoples’ Policy which a team of indigenous peoples including Ms Biangalen-Magata and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have worked and lobbied for. The IP Policy applies to all indigenous peoples around the world. The right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous peoples is included in the policy among other essential elements of indigenous peoples’ wellbeing. Ms Biangalen-Magata also mentioned that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is used as a standard in the GCF.

Ms Biangalen-Magata also stressed on some important details of the IP Policy such as its scope, its guiding principles, avoidance of adverse impacts of GCF-funded projects, meaningful consultation, equitable compensation and shared benefits, and grievance and redress mechanisms.

She noted that an Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Group composed of four indigenous peoples’ representatives is created to advice the GCF Secretariat, National Designated Authorities (NDAs), Accredited and Executing Entities in case of GCF-supported projects affecting indigenous peoples as well as to monitor and review the implement of the IP Policy and provide guidance and advice to the Board as may be requested.

Mr Raymond de Chavez, the Deputy Executive Director of Tebtebba and also part of the IPs engaging at the GCF, gave an overview of the engagements of IPs at the GCF Board Meetings. He emphasized that IPs are engaging the GCF because they are the most vulnerable and most impacted to climate change and the consequences of ill-conceived climate change solutions. In addition, the IPs play key roles and offer valuable contributions to increasing resilience to climate change impacts through their perspectives, traditional knowledge and sustainable resource management and practices. IPs also engage as the Cancun Agreement explicitly acknowledges the obligations of State Parties to respect the rights of indigenous peoples in any climate change actions and programmes while the Paris Agreement recognizes the positive contributions of IPs’ traditional knowledge to climate change adaptation.

Mr de Chavez said that there are three key demands of IPs engaging at the GCF meetings: respect the rights of indigenous peoples including the recognition of their traditional knowledge, full and effective participation, and access to resources.

Mr de Chavez also mentioned that the engagements of IPs resulted to remarkable gains such as the increased prominence of indigenous issues within the Board, sustained and effective engagement with the Board and the CSOs, engagement at the national level, scoping on readiness and IPs and the approval of the IP Policy.

Ms Biangalen-Magata disclosed opportunities for engagements of indigenous women at the national level which include participation in readiness programmes, Board meetings of the GCF and regional multi-stakeholder consultations, submission of petitions and letters to the GCF, online presence, one-on-one engagements with the Board Members and country negotiators, direct engagements with the NDAs and focal points, and monitoring and reporting of implementation of GCF policies and projects.

The participants were also able to get a glimpse of the project proposals targeting some communities in their countries which are submitted at the GCF with some under the Board’s deliberation.

 

News writing and utilizing social media for indigenous women visibility

As part of the training of the focal points, Ms Biangalen-Magata provided a review of news and feature story writing to enhance their skills in sharing the day-to-day stories of indigenous women in their communities to a broader audience.

She emphasized on accuracy, brevity and clarity as well as on some key tips in writing news and feature stories.

A short news story writing of the women and critiquing ensued.

Mr de Chavez, in addition, provided a lecture on the use of social media by IPs where he stressed that IPs worldwide are interacting online and supporting indigenous issues and causes. He, however, noted from a research the setbacks of using social media to IPs such as cyber bullying and cyber racism.

Facebook, he said, is the most widely-used social media and can be maximized by and for AIWN members. He also provided tips in utilizing Facebook and its various features such as the Facebook Live.

The focal points who participated in the strategic coordination meeting and training came from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia, India and Nepal.

This activity, organized by AIWN, is a part of the Strengthening the AIWN and Mobilizing Change project being supported by Leading from the South Programme of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF/FIMI). ***

First posted at www.tebtebba.org.