Kauhale ‘Ōiwi Dialogues: Honolulu, USA - 2016

Community Kauhale 'Ōiwi: Day 3

Day 3  - Partnerships

September 4th, 2o16

8:30 AM - 9:00 PM  

The Community Kauhale ‘Ōiwi is a peer-to-peer meeting space at IUCN WCC that provides an opportunity for local and indigenous leaders to exchange knowledge and best practices in sustainable environmental management. Leveraging the unique partnerships of the Equator Initiative, the Kauhale aims to position local advocacy and knowledge sharing within the larger policy dialogues on conservation and sustainable development.

Accessing Global Finances: Funding Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

8:30 AM - 10:30 PM

The session on Accessing Global Financing, Funding Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities was a roundtable discussion that brought together representatives from key global funding institutions to learn about what financing options are available to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and for financing institutions to hear how financing opportunities can be expanded, increased and enhanced to better target Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ needs and aspirations. Alejandra Pero, Coordinator of the Equator Initiative’s WIN-Network, moderated the session.

Yoko Watanabe, of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), talked about the GEF being the largest public financer of environmental projects, and explained the GEF has three funding modalities: small grants, medium-sized projects (up to USD 2 million), and full-sized projects (over USD 2 million); most 220 projects involving Indigenous Peoples are full-sized. Watanabe also spoke about the GEF’s Indigenous Peoples advisory groups and their roles strengthening partnerships with communities and their involvement in policy making.

Terrence Hay-Edie, from the GEF-Small Grants Programme (SGP) explained that SGPs average funding is between US$50,000 and $150,000, and that project approval is decentralized and undertaken by a National Steering Committee. He stated that Indigenous Peoples projects in SGP are roughly 15% of the entire portfolio, and cited project examples in Venezuela (focused on cacao), Indonesia (focused on textiles), and South Africa (focused on ecotourism). He talked about the tool-kit created by SGP to support conservation by Indigenous Peoples and the recently launched Indigenous Peoples fellowship funded by SGP.

Johnson Cerda, from Conservation International, talked about the “Dedicated Grant Mechanism” (DGM) for Indigenous Peoples and local communities at Conservation International. DGM is a $US 80 million grant mechanism trust fund with 4 programs, primarily focused on supporting Indigenous Peoples around the issue of REDD+. Cerda explained DGM has two components: a global component and a country component (for a total of 14 countries), and that global DGM governance includes the participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as focal points in the DGM steering committee.

Michelle Zador from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) spoke about CEPF’s work with Indigenous Peoples, biodiversity and hotspots, and their partnerships at local and global levels. CEPF currently works in 11 hotspots: three in the Americas, four in Africa, and three in Asia. Zador explained CEPF has different categories of projects to support Indigenous Peoples, including projects on customary lands and resource rights, capacity building and safeguards compliance. He stressed there are two funding windows at CEPF: one for large grants and one for small grants. He encouraged event attendees to visit their website and apply for their funds




DSC 0332 1

Accessing Global Finances 2

Kyra Busch, from the Christensen Fund (CF) explained that CF focuses on backing locally recognized community custodians of bio cultural heritage, and their alliances with scholars, artists, advocates and others. CF follows a decentralized model and only provides direct funding to individuals and institutions.

Galina Angarova, from SWIFT Foundation presented an overview of the work undertaken by Swift Foundation with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The Swift Foundation supports local stewards and their allies who are dedicated to protecting biological and cultural diversity, building resilience amidst climate change, and restoring the health and dignity of communities globally.

The panel concluded with an open exchange with the public on how to enhance financing opportunities to expand and better reach local communities and Indigenous Peoples on the frontlines: those promoting conservation and poverty reduction in their communities.



DSC 0530

DSC 0494

DSC 05

Local-Global Leaders Dialogue

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The Local-Global Leaders Dialogue was designed by the Equator Initiative to bring Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and local civil society leaders into conversation with national policymakers and global thought leaders, on priority issues in the areas of environmental conservation, poverty reduction and sustainable development. The dialogue was oriented around three priority themes: (i) securing and expanding rights to communal lands, territories and natural resources; ii) ensuring adequate finance and investment in Indigenous Peoples organizations and community-based action; and (iii) creating political, legal and institutional space for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to contribute to policymaking and planning on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation.

Charles McNeill, UNDP’s Senior Policy Advisor for Forests, Climate and Indigenous Issues, opened the session by welcoming the local and global leaders and thanking IUCN for providing UNDP with a space for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to convene during the World Conservation Congress. Inger Andersen, Director General of the IUCN, and moderator of the session, opened the session by reminding the audience that, around the world, Indigenous Peoples and local communities hold formal rights to about 18 percent of global lands, and must therefore have a more active role to play in conservation efforts.

Nik Sekhran, Director of Sustainable Development for UNDP and Dr. Lisa Dabek, Director of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea began the discussion by “demystifying the SDGs,” and sharing a successful example of a local community in Papua New Guinea which has integrally connected conservation efforts with livelihood creation, education and sustainable development.

Caroline Olori of the Ekuri Initiative in Nigeria and John Knox, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment led the conversation on land rights. Olori shared her community’s story about the government attempting to breach the Ekuri community’s land rights to build a “super highway,” while Knox offered advice on specific international laws and conventions which can be cited and defended in claiming and protecting land rights.

The finance portion of the discussion was led by Jaime Nalvarte, Executive Director of AIDER in Peru, with an example of a self-sustaining forest-management initiative which has grown and helped shape Peru’s forestry laws. Mr. Guillermo Zuñiga, BIOFIN Lead Expert in Costa Rica and former Finance Minister of Costa Rica shared his experience of seeking funds while working to create Costa Rica’s national biodiversity plan. Peter Seligmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Conservation International, stressed the importance of appealing to the “enlightened self-interest” of donors, as part of a financing strategy.

Henrietta Kalinda, of Kasisi Agricultural Training Center (KATC) in Zambia, shifted the conversation from financing to creating policy changes by sharing examples of how to approach both local leadership and relevant government ministers to expand the small scale farming effort her organization has championed. Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of Convention on Biological Diversity, highlighted the connection between traditional use of land with biodiversity laws at the local, national and international level.

Andersen concluded the session by asking each panelist for his or her ‘one breath statement’ on her hopes for what will have been addressed by the meeting of the next IUCN World Conservation Congress in 4 years. Caroline Olori, movingly hoped that, “we will look back at Ekuri Initiative as a reference point, as a community which was able to hold on to our land.”

The session successfully balanced local perspectives and global interest in the areas of the SDGs, land rights, finance and policies affecting local communities and Indigenous Peoples. It was also an opportunity to raise the profile (at WCC and beyond) of the significant contributions that local communities and Indigenous Peoples make to the achievement of development goals and conservation of natural resources.

DSC 0534

Protection-Production Partnerships for Forests, Climate, and Sustainable Development

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Conserving and restoring forests reduces emissions from deforestation, and provides critical benefits for biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development. Increasing global demands for agricultural and forest commodities continue to drive deforestation despite high-level commitments from governments and companies for forest protection. A proposed solution, place-based partnerships for protection and production, aligns domestic forest protection policy with public and private finance to de-risk investment in sustainable intensification and puts smallholders and local and indigenous communities at its heart. This event will explore how such “protection-production partnerships” aim to strengthen multi-stakeholder actions to develop resilient supply chains while curtailing forest loss. Discussion will focus on the concept, state of play, and how action in this arena is showing mutual beneficial outcomes for forest conservation and community development objectives.




IMG 0660

IMG 0669


Building Partnerships: Sharing Stories

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

The Building Partnerships event was an informal gathering designed for Equator Prize winners, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) members, and other IUCN WCC attendees, to meet practitioners with similar interests, share stories and best practices on natural resource management, explore synergies, and help each other achieve common goals.

Steve Edwards from IUCN CEM and Alejandra Pero, from the Equator Initiative’s WIN Networkgreeted participants to the event. Piet Wit, Chair of IUCN’s CEM talked about the importance of story-telling, cultural exchanges, trust-building and shared appreciation for the conservation of nature. Ezekiel Tye Freeman, Equator Prize winner from Green-Pro in Liberia, spoke about his community’s work conserving biodiversity through income generating initiatives like beekeeping, snail farming and the planting of trees.

Radkhika Murti, Head of Disaster Risk Reduction at IUCN, facilitated the session dividing the group into sub-groups, to discuss three main themes: 1) livelihoods and wellbeing; 2) governance of natural resources; and 3) effects of climate change. After a session of story telling amongst attendees, a rapporteur from each group summarized concluding thoughts on the three main themes.

The first group on livelihoods highlighted the importance of respecting local Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs)’ livelihoods; of including IPLCs in the planning process of conservation projects; of generating trust with local communities before project interventions; and on being careful not to raise expectations about certain projects.

The second group focused on the importance of ecosystem governance, stressing that natural resource management must be locally driven; that conservationists must have local champions to support them when things get difficult on the ground; that community cohesion is vital to surpass difficult times; and the importance of partnership building to move the conservation agenda forward.

The third and last group focused on climate change, highlighting the need to find common ground amongst IPLCs and conservation practitioners when noticing on the ground changes as a result of climate change, and the importance of preserving and using traditional knowledge/practices to better mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The event reflections and story telling helped highlight the role and work undertaken by CEM, the stories and best practices of Equator Prize winners, and the key role local communities and Indigenous Peoples play in the conservation of ecosystems and in the sustainable use of biodiversity.



Equator Blog

[do_widget id=rpwe_widget-3]

About Equator Initiative 

Contact Us

Follow Us: