Indigenous peoples

Coordination

The indigenous peoples’ team in the Partnerships and South-South Cooperation Division (DPS) coordinates FAO’s work on indigenous peoples. The coordination efforts consist in six main liaison and monitoring activities:

FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Indigenous Peoples

FAO Indigenous peoples’ team chairs and convenes the FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Indigenous Peoples (IDWG). The IDWG is composed of technical experts in forestry, seeds, livestock, statistics, gender, partnerships, investment, legal and fisheries, belonging to diverse FAO Divisions. This body serves both as a network as well as a coordination body that enables FAO units to work with DPS in the implementation of the 2010 FAO Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

The Inter-Agency Support Group of the United Nations

Twice a year, the Inter-Agency Support Group of the United Nations (IASG) brings together the indigenous peoples' focal points from all United Nations agencies. The main roles of the IASG are to mainstream the work of indigenous peoples in the different United Nations organizations and to provide support to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In 2016 the IASG developed a UN System-wide Action Plan (SWAP) on the rights of indigenous peoples, which was presented by the United Nations Secretary-General in May 2016. 

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is the United Nations forum where delegates of indigenous peoples gather once a year to discuss indigenous issues. With half of their representatives appointed by Member States and half by indigenous leaders, today, the UNPFII is, together with the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, the most representative of the United Nations bodies, where indigenous matters are discussed. Together with other United Nations organizations, FAO participates in the UNPFII debates and experts’ meetings.

Task force on Free Prior and Informed Consent

The FAO task force on FPIC was created by the indigenous peoples’ team to ensure the smooth implementation of FPIC inside FAO. Composed of the units working on Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, mainly on fisheries, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, emergencies and forestry, it ensures that FAO technical units will implement FPIC in the projects and programmes affecting indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Peoples' Caucus

After the 2015 February meeting between FAO senior management and technical experts, and indigenous peoples, a joint work plan to implement the 2010 FAO Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples was agreed on. In order to follow-up on its implementation, a coordination caucus was set up with seven indigenous peoples' representatives.

Each indigenous representative coordinated with other indigenous organizations in each of the seven socio-cultural regions in which indigenous peoples divide the world. The indigenous peoples’ team in OPCA coordinates with this Caucus in order to share information and monitor the implementation of the joint work plan for the 2010 Policy of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

Working group on Indigenous Food Systems

In February 2015, indigenous peoples requested FAO to create a working group on indigenous food systems. Co-chaired by the indigenous peoples’ team in OPCA and the Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP), this Working Group relies on the expertise of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Biodiversity, the International Network for Food Data Systems (INFOODS), and FAO technical divisions on nutrition, trade, seeds, agroecology, emergencies and forestry.