Main Issue

Approximately 370 million indigenous peoples live in more than 90 countries around the world. A significant fraction of the world’s priority areas — based on biodiversity and ecosystem importance — overlap with Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories and resources. This presents both enormous challenges and opportunities for the environment and indigenous peoples themselves. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF has been working in partnership with indigenous peoples since its inception in 1991. We were one of the first international financial institutions to develop an independent policy to engage with civil society, including indigenous peoples. This policy provides the basis for participation of indigenous peoples in all aspects of our work.

In recent years, the GEF has enhanced its partnership with indigenous peoples in various ways. We have adopted Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples. We have developed the GEF Policy on Agency Minimum Standards on Environmental and Social Safeguards (which includes a minimum standard dedicated to indigenous peoples). And we have established the GEF Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG), whose members include indigenous peoples and others, and provides useful guidance and partnership to the GEF Secretariat. Read more+



Between 1991 and 2014, the GEF actively involved Indigenous Peoples in over 220 medium- and full-size projects and more than 2,300 projects under the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP). Biodiversity conservation continues to dominate among projects with Indigenous Peoples. However, in recent years, indigenous peoples have been increasingly involved in other GEF focal area projects, such as Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Forest Management. Outcomes from these projects include improving indigenous peoples-related policies; enhancing co-management of protected areas; sustainable and integrated natural resource management; and strengthening institutions, capacity and skills, and knowledge development. Read more+