In 2011, the CEO of The Global Environment Facility (GEF) committed to developing a policy on indigenous peoples as a framework for engagement between the GEF and indigenous peoples.
After work done by the Indigenous Peoples Task Force to establish an ‘Issues Paper’ to guide this policy development, the GEF instead adopted a framework document, ‘Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples’.
This issues paper presents for the GEFSEC and the GEF Council both (a) the principles on which such an indigenous peoples’ policy could rest, including the key protections and aspirations proposed to be contained in the policy document and; (b) the required mechanisms to ensure its effective and smooth implementation across the wide diversity of GEF projects and agencies. This paper also provides references to additional guidance documents that exist and which should be provided as references to GEF Agencies in their promotion of indigenous rights and interests, and is based partly on a comprehensive review of the existing policies in GEF Agencies regarding indigenous peoples (see Annex I). Finally this issues paper contains recommendations for the next steps in the development of the policy itself. The policy sits alongside the mandatory safeguard requirements for indigenous peoples already contained within the GEF Environmental and Social Safeguard Standards (GEF Council, November 2011).