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FAO committed towards supporting indigenous peoples in the world


11/05/2016 - 

"FAO is well aware that indigenous peoples are among the hardest hit by climate change because of the impact climatic variability has in their livelihoods and food security," said Mr. Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, FAO Indigenous Peoples' Focal Point during the 15th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) at the UN Headquarters on May 11, 2016.

"Since the last session of this Permanent Forum, numerous important developments have taken place. Without any doubt, the most important one has been the recently approved System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP) for ensuring a coherent approach to achieving the ends of the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," he added.

This SWAP gives UN agencies, funds and programmes the opportunity to work in a way that advances indigenous peoples' agenda by building bridges based on mutual respect among all of us, he noted.

Implementing projects

Organised around the theme "Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution" from May 9 to May 20, this year's forum witnessed participation from member states and indigenous peoples' representatives around the world.

 Mr. Fernandez de Larrinoa highlighted during the Forum FAO's ongoing work with indigenous peoples at local, regional and global levels. In particular the work done by FAO in adopting Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in all FAO projects affecting indigenous peoples. Or for example-- FAO is implementing capacity development initiatives in Asia and Central America with indigenous peoples on the application of the Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure of Land, as well as leadership programmes for indigenous women on human rights and food security in several countries with the International Indigenous Women's Forum, just to mention a few.

Action Plan

At a UNPFII side event on "Follow up of the World Conference on Indigenous People, Development of a national action Plan on Indigenous peoples in El Salvador" the FAO Representative in the country, Mr. Alan Gonzalez, explained how FAO has been working with the Government of El Salvador and networks of indigenous peoples.

FAO acted as facilitator providing also technical assistance during the process. The result of this joint collaboration will be an Action Plan on indigenous peoples for El Salvador, one of the first to be drafted following the recommendations by the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on September 2014, he said.

In 2016, FAO is co-chairing the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples' Issues together with IFAD and the ILC. The next UN Interagency meeting will take place in FAO Headquarters in Rome from the 3rd to the 5th October 2016.

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