Indigenous Peoples' Climate Change Portal

Follow tebtebba on Twitter
Key points on GCF and Finance Print

The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIFCC) makes the following recommendations to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for guaranteeing the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples:

  • Our rights are established in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169. Countries must respect and implement these rights by ensuring our full and effective participation.
  • Indigenous Peoples (IP) demand respect for our rights to engage actively in the process of decision making in the design and implementing process of GCF activities, through full and effective participation at all global and national initiatives for adaptation and mitigation efforts.
  • The fund should address country and specifically Indigenous Peoples’ priorities for adaptation,
  • More specifically in regards to our participation in the activities of the GCF, we call for:



a. Indigenous Peoples must be active observers.

The Secretariat presently does not recognize Indigenous Peoples as active observers. Active observer status is granted only to two civil society representatives and two private sector representatives. Indigenous peoples cannot be represented by either of these categories. We can only represent ourselves and we refuse to continue being excluded in this process.

Therefore, we, demand that indigenous peoples be granted status as a separate active observer in line with international human rights obligations and standards and in accordance with decision 3/CP (FCCC/CP/2011/9/Add.1). Our contribution to climate change response actions (mitigation, adaptation, REDD+) has been acknowledged by - inter alia - the UNFCCC, which has also recognized Indigenous Peoples as vulnerable communities.

Additionally, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should participate in the Board meetings as an official observer to the GCF.

Given the planned role of the Green Climate Fund to deliver resources supporting climate-related projects, we believe it is crucial that the GCF structure ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples as mandated in the COP 16 Cancun agreement by guaranteeing us active observer status.

Further the GCF’s governance structures at the national level should ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples.

b. Financing Indigenous Peoples’ Participation

The Green Climate Fund Board should provide dedicated financing for IPs’ participation to enable the full and effective participation in GCF activities. All meetings should be open to attendance to all observers in the GCF.

c. Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Body and contact person in the Secretariat

An Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory body and a contact person should also be established to guarantee the active engagement of indigenous peoples in the decision-making processes so as to ensure ownership and success of activities.

Additionally, we suggest the following related approaches:

d. Direct access

We demand direct access to funds of the GCF by Indigenous Peoples. This direct access will strengthen our capacity to effectively deal with climate change.

e. Safeguards against Corruption in the GCF

Safeguards to protect the fund from misappropriation and corruption should be established, in the recipient countries. We call for full recognition and compliance to social, economic and environmental safeguards, including in those related to governance. Compliance with these safeguards should be a precondition to further funding to state and other parties.


Key points for further discussion and elaboration on Green Climate Fund[1] and Finance

25th May 2012, Bonn, Germany


23rd May 2012

[1] Responding to the request from the Conference of the Parties at its seventeenth session in Durban, the UNFCCC Secretariat and the GEF Secretariat have taken the necessary administrative steps to set up the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund as an autonomous unit within the UNFCCC Secretariat Premises, so that the Interim Secretariat can provide technical, administrative and logistical support to the Board until the independent secretariat of the Green Climate Fund is established.