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Workshop for Establishing the Indigenous Peoples Forum at IFAD

February 18th, 2011

On 17-18 February 2011 a two-day workshop was organized in IFAD with the support of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA).

Indigenous peoples have repeatedly asked for a more systematic dialogue with United Nations agencies. In response to this request, IFAD has taken a series of initiatives in the past seven years and accumulated valuable experience in establishing constructive dialogue with indigenous peoples.

The IFAD Policy on Engagement with Indigenous Peoples (approved by IFAD Executive Board in September 2009) includes partnership with indigenous peoples as one of the instruments to deploy its principles of engagement.

The proposal to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Forum is a concrete attempt to institutionalize a process of consultation and dialogue with indigenous peoples’ representatives at the national, regional and international levels. The aim is to improve IFAD’s accountability to its target groups and its development effectiveness, and to exercise a leadership role among international development institutions.

The activities of the Forum will focus on indigenous peoples’ consultations and involvement in the development of IFAD’s country strategies, project design, implementation and monitoring processes, and in policy dialogue and advocacy. In so doing, the Forum will also support IFAD in implementing its Policy on Engagement with Indigenous Peoples and in translating its principles into action on the ground. Moreover, the Forum will promote accountability by encouraging feedback by indigenous peoples’ representatives on IFAD’s operations.

The objective of the two-day workshop, held in in IFAD headquarters on 17 and 18 February 2011 was to discuss and agree upon the purpose and modalities of the Forum. Representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations and IFAD Staff discussed the possible directions, scope and objectives of the Forum, and how it should be organized and operate, including governance and participation criteria.

It is expected that the workshop will produce a statement on the establishment of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD, providing clear direction and guidelines on what the forum will be and how it will operate. It is also expected that the workshop will agree upon a “road map” on the Forum process for the next two years, after which the first global meeting of the Forum is expected to take place in conjunction with IFAD’s Governing Council in 2013.

The Workshop for Establishing an Indigenous Forum in IFAD can be followed here, on IFAD’s Social Reporting Blog, and on Twitter. A photo gallery can be found on the Workshop’s Facebook page.

Further information about the Workshop can be found at the following links:

- Concept Note: http://www.ifad.org/events/ip/concept.pdf

- Welcoming remarks of IFAD’s President: http://www.ifad.org/events/op/2011/ip.htm

- Agenda: http://www.ifad.org/events/ip/agenda.pdf

A side event on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change was also organized.