Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities

The Power of Partnerships

 Subnational governments are increasingly realizing that Indigenous Peoples, local and traditional communities and other forest-dependent people are critical partners in the ongoing fight to slow deforestation and climate change. The GCF Task Force has been working to seed these important alliances since the signing of the Rio Branco Declaration in 2014. At the core of this work is the fact that equitable, collaborative partnerships between governments, Indigenous Peoples, and local or traditional communities are essential for guaranteeing the human and territorial rights of key forest guardians. These partnerships are also critical for conserving important forested regions of our world; the people who live in and depend upon forests know these places best and have strategies that we all can learn from. Though partnerships based on trust and authentic collaboration take time to build, they are the most ethical and effective pathway forward. 

Protecting the Forest From Within

Indigenous territories have the highest rates of forest conservation in the world. Indigenous Peoples and local communities own or manage:

28% of the world’s land

⅛ of the planet’s forests

¼ of total above-ground carbon storage in the world’s tropical forest regions

Our work with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities is currently focused on implementing a set of Guiding Principles for Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities across our member states and provinces. These Guiding Principles, developed by GCF Task Force members and key leaders of Indigenous Peoples’ and local or traditional community organizations, establish common ground between governments and communities as they work to address the interrelated problems of deforestation and climate change, while ensuring the rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-based communities.

These Guiding Principles are grounded in the ideals of mutual respect and collaboration. They recognize Indigenous Peoples and local communities as important guardians of much of the world’s tropical forests, as people who hold invaluable, traditional and ecological knowledge that can be mobilized to combat deforestation and promote sustainable, forest-based economies. The Guiding Principles also emphasize the need for unity and authentic partnerships between governments and communities. Together, these actors can develop more impactful and inclusive strategies for addressing deforestation and climate change with the people who know and understand forests best.


Featured Resource

The Guiding Principles for Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Guiding Principles for Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communties

Endorsed by:






Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations

“We don’t want governments to come and do things for us; we want to work together.”

–Francisca Arara, Global Committee member and Chief of Department of Climate Change in Acre, Brazil 

Global and Regional Committees

Implementing the Guiding Principles for Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities is carried out both globally and regionally.

In 2016, the GCF Task Force Global Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities was formed to strengthen partnerships between subnational governments and Indigenous Peoples’ and local community-level leaders. The Global Committee convenes regularly at both international climate and forest events as well as in GCF Task Force regions. The Global Committee aligns around common policy and advocacy goals and serves as a platform for sharing effective strategies for effective, durable governmental-community partnerships. 


In August 2017, Global Committee members convened on Yurok Tribal lands in California. The Yurok Tribal Government’s partnership with California through the State Forestry Offset Program has helped advance the Tribal Government’s goals of reacquisition of ancestral lands, economic development and cultural preservation.

Global Committee members and partners celebrate the landmark endorsement of California’s Tropical Forest Standard at the California Air Resources Board Hearing in September 2019.

For over two years, the Global Committee worked to support the endorsement of California’s Tropical Forest Standard (TFS), which includes the Guiding Principles as a mechanism for monitoring and measuring governmental interactions with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In 2018 and again in 2019, Global Committee members from around the world gathered in Sacramento, California, to affirm the importance of this standard at the public meeting of California’s Air Resources Board. Representatives from the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Coordinator of the Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), and the government of Norway, along with Chico Mendes’ daughter, spoke in support of the TFS. 

The California Air Resources Board endorsed the Tropical Forest Standard on September 19, 2019.

Global Committee Members for Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Communities


Francisca Arara

Government Representative
Head of Department, Institute of Climate Change, Acre, Brazil


Joaqim Correa de Souza Belo

Local Community Representative


Prof. Charlie D. Heatubun

Government Representative
Head of Provincial Research & Development Agency, West Papua, Indonesia


Basilio Velásquex Chí

Indigenous Representative


John Salcedo

Government Representative
Manager of Indigenous Peoples of Ucayali, Ucayali Regional Government


Lizardo Cauper

Indigenous Representative
President, AIDESEP


Oseas Barbaran

Local Community Representative
President, CONAP

Regional Committees for Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Communities



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Elcio Serverino da Silva Machineri (Toya)
Liderança Indígena do Povo Machineri do Acre
Membro da Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira – COIAB/COICA Acre

Francisco da Silva Piyãko
Liderança do Povo Ashaninka do Acre
Agentes Agroflorestais Indígenas do Acre – AMAAIAC/AC

Francisca de Lima Costa
Liderança do Povo Arara do Acre
Presidente do Comitê – Chefe do Departamento de Normatização e Registro do IMC Acre


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Eclemilda Macial Silva
Liderança indígena do Povo Galibi Marworno do Amapá
Secretária Extraordinária dos Povos Indígenas do Amapá- SEPI/AP


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Herton Fabrício Rodrigues Filgueira
Assessor Técnico de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Fundação Estadual do Índio FEI


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Adriana Soares de Carvalho
Assessora Especial
Secretaria de Estado de Direitos Humanos e Participação Popular – SEDIHPOP/MA

Mato Grosso

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Crisanto Rudzo Tseremey’wá
Liderança Indígena do Povo Xavante do Mato Grosso
Presidente da Federação dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas de Mato Grosso – FEPOIMT

Eliane Xunakalo
Liderança Indígena do Povo Bakairi do Mato Grosso
Acessora da Federação dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas de Mato Grosso – FEPOIMT


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Puyr dos Santos Tembé
Liderança Indígena do Povo Tembé do Pará

Vice-presidente da Federação dos Povos Indígenas do Estado do Pará – FEPIPA

Joaquim Corrêa de Souza Belo
CNS Assuntos Internacionais


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Valdenilda Massaca Karitiana
Liderança do Povo Karitiana
Gerente de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Indígena da Coordenadoria de Povos Indígenas da SEDAM-RO
valdenilda.massaca brd

Shirley Arara
Associação das Guerreiras Indígenas – AGIR


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Francineth dos Santos Raposo
Liderança do Povo Macuxi
Assessora Especial da Secretaria de Estado do índio – SEI/RR

Telma Marques Taurepang
Liderança do Povo Taurepang
Coordenadora Geral da União das Mulheres Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira – UMIAB

Sineia do Vale
Coordenadora do Departamento Ambiental do Conselho Indígena de Roraima – CIR

Flávia Alves Furtado
Analista Ambiental FEMARH/RR – 1ª Suplente


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Narubia Silva Werreira
Liderança do Povo Iny Karajá do Tocantins



West Papua

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Professor Charlie D. Heatubun (Lead)
Head of Provincial Research & Development Agency 

Fredrik Hendrik Runaweri
Head of Forestry Agency 

West Kalimantan

Gusti Hardiansyah Machmud
Special Advisor to the Governor

Adi Yani
Head of Environmental & Settlement Agency


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Sahrial Wahab
Head of Environmental & Forestry Agency

Head of Development Planning Agency


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Floriberto Vásquez
GCF Task Force Delegate, Oaxaca
Head of the Technical Monitoring and Statistics Unit

Rafael Robles
GCF Task Force Delegate, Quintana Roo
Director General, IBANQROO

Jorge Augusto Villatoro Domínguez
Representative of the Secretariat for the Sustainable Development of Indigenous Peoples (SEDESPI), Chiapas
Productive Projects Manager

Mtro. Saúl Vicente Vázquez
Representative of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples
Director of International Affairs

Basilio Velazquez Chi
Indigenous Community Representative, Quintana Roo

Jazmín Orama
Local Community Representative
Producer of honey, agro-silvopastoral systems and training processes for women in the state of Campeche

Silvia Llamas Prado
GCF Task Force Regional Coordinator, Mexico
Pronatura Sur A.C.


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AIDESEP – Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana

Lizardo Cauper Pezo

CONAP – Confederación de Nacionalidades Amazónicas del Perú

Oseas Barbarán Sánchez

ANECAP – Asociación Nacional de Ejecutores de Contrato de Administración del Perú

Fermin Chimatani

Gerencia de Pueblos Indígenas del Gobierno Regional de Ucayali

John Salcedo
Gerente de la Gerencia de Pueblos Indígenas

Updates from our work with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Lessons from the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force

Lessons from the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force

From 2018 – 2020, UNDP, with funding from the Government of Norway, supported 35 jurisdictions in the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCFTF) to develop and/or revise jurisdictional strategies and investment plans to reduce emissions from deforestation and...

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GCF Task Force Official Side Event at COP26

GCF Task Force Official Side Event at COP26

We are pleased to invite you to the GCF Task Force Official Side Event - The Manaus Action Plan: A New Pathway for Forests, People, and Economies in a Post-Covid World @ COP26! The GCF Task Force will be discussing the Manaus Action Plan, a plan for subnational...

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