COP26: Conservation International’s Statement on Today’s Announcement of New Funding for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

November 2, 2021

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (November 2, 2021) – Conservation International today released the following statements in response to the $1.7 billion pledge in support of Indigenous peoples and local community efforts to protect tropical forests. The commitment was made today at the global climate negotiations, known as COP26, now underway in Glasgow:

Hindou Omarou Ibrahim, Founder of the Association for Indigenous Women and People of Chad and Board Member, Conservation International: “This announcement gives the right signal of climate urgency and political will to reimagine climate finance direct access for indigenous-led initiatives that support land tenure, protects forest, includes traditional knowledge and contributes to climate and biodiversity goals.”

Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International: “Too often, past conservation efforts have excluded the perspectives of Indigenous peoples and local communities — and, at times, actively harmed these groups. But when done right, people-positive climate solutions can lift communities, build stronger economies and support land tenure. As stewards of 80 percent of biodiversity on Earth, Indigenous peoples and local communities bring a great deal of knowledge to the global fight against climate change, yet IPLC-led projects remain chronically underfunded. There is absolutely no path to climate stability without the full participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities, new programs must be administered by the people closest to nature.”

Indigenous peoples and local communities make up just five percent of the world's population but steward 80 percent of biodiversity on Earth – yet investments in Indigenous and local community-led climate solutions have not been prioritized. Today’s announcement aims to reverse that trend and re-affirms the important and differentiated contributions of Indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting tropical forests that are vital to fighting climate change and biodiversity loss.

Other efforts underway to support Indigenous peoples and local communities’ role in climate action and biodiversity conservation include:

  • The Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous peoples and Local Communities (DGM) supports the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in an effort to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. As a special initiative under the Climate Investment Funds’ Forest Investment Program, the DGM places $80 million dollars directly in the hands of the people who simultaneously depend on and protect forests. Conservation International serves as the Global Executing agency.


  • Conservation International’s Our Future Forests–Amazonia Verde works with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to advance investments and incentives that will conserve up to 12 percent of the Amazon — about 73 million hectares (180 million acres) — by 2025. The project supports the conservation initiatives of 26 groups, providing them with the tools, training and funding needed to manage their lands and support overall conservation of the Amazon. Project activities will benefit more than 68,000 men, women and children. With funding from the government of France, the project directly contributes to the objectives of the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests, an open coalition led by France to promote the protection, restoration and sustainable management of rainforests worldwide.


  • Financed by the Global Environment Facility, the Inclusive Conservation Initiative will support Indigenous Peoples and local communities with US$ 25 million of investments. This pilot initiative will aim to secure and enhance their stewardship over an estimated area of at least 7.6 million hectares of landscapes, seascapes and territories of high biodiversity and irreplaceable ecosystems with support from Conservation International and IUCN as GEF implementing agencies.


About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.