Oaxaca, México—This week marked a landmark moment wherein the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force Global Committee for Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities (IP/LC Global Committee) convened in Oaxaca, México, to strategize on collaborative climate action over two days of workshops.
Tuesday’s workshop was the first moment where all members of the IP/LC Global Committee convened as a unified, established group (with the exception of members from Indonesia, who were unable to attend in Oaxaca). As decided at the 2019 GCF Task Force Annual Meeting in Caquetá, the IP/LC Global Committee includes one representative from an indigenous peoples’ group, one representative from a local community organization, and one subnational governmental representative from each of the four major GCF Task Force regions (Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Indonesia), alongside one representative each from three large pan-regional indigenous organizations (AMPB, COICA, and AMAN).
Additionally, the Committee formalized the acceptance of California as an official member on Tuesday, as the Global Committee was originally conceptualized on Yurok Tribal lands in California and was instrumental in the development and endorsement of the California Tropical Forest Standard in September.
On Tuesday, the IP/LC Global Committee focused on key questions regarding governance, functioning, and identifying priorities for the group. One such priority was the need to utilize the convening power of the Global Committee to enrich members’ understanding on key topics relevant to their communities and jurisdictions, enabling members to return to their communities with the tools for disseminating knowledge on climate and forest initiatives.
This week, that topic was climate programs. On Wednesday, members of the Global Committee were joined by NGO partners, governmental partners and additional participants from indigenous groups for a workshop on the California Tropical Forest Standard, carbon markets, and other standards applicable to climate financing. “We cannot be a part of a market if we cannot define it,” remarked Gustavo Sanchez of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), signifying the demand to increase knowledge-sharing to the communities who are poised to be at the receiving end of carbon markets.
“We need to see how to understand the technical elements… How are we going to make this information ours and how are we going to make this reach as many people as possible? We are talking about strengthening our own knowledge,” affirmed Julie Messias of IMC Acre.
Workshop presenters included Jason Gray of the California Air Resources Board, Steve Schwartzmann from the Environmental Defense Fund, Joanna Durbin from Conservation International, Danae Azuara from the Mexican Climate Initiative, and Isabella Gonzalez from The Nature Conservancy.
Global Committee members and other participants engaged in constructive dialogue on socializing the Guiding Principles of Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in respect to the California Tropical Forest Standard, communication tools for disseminating knowledge on carbon markets and climate financing, inclusive consultation processes, benefit sharing, comprehensive safeguards, and prioritizing the needs and concerns of indigenous peoples and local communities who stand to be most impacted by carbon markets and associated standards.
The Global Committee gained not only knowledge in Oaxaca this week, but an affirmed sense of unity and a clear direction for advancing their common objectives—“We all have the same agenda: climate and forests,” proclaimed Romeo Dominguez, GCF Task Force Mexico Coordinator.
This week’s workshops were made possible by generous support and participation from Pronatura Sur, the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International, UNDP, the Mexican Climate Initiative, and The Nature Conservancy.