Our approach to incorporating indigenous peoples into our work is multifaceted and has evolved over the years. For us, the key to remaining current and effective in our work with indigenous peoples involves sustained communication and outreach to ensure that we have effective policies, programs, and projects.

On September 10, 2012, the GEF, in its information document Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples, established an Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group to enhance coordination between the GEF and Indigenous Peoples. The key objective of the GEF Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group is to provide advice to the GEF Indigenous Peoples focal point on the operationalization and reviewing of the Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples paper, particularly on the appropriate modality to enhance dialogue among the Indigenous Peoples, GEF Partner Agencies, the GEF Secretariat and other experts. IPAG also is providing guidance on financing options for indigenous peoples and enhancing monitoring and evaluation metrics, among other things. 

On 2-3 July 2013, the GEF Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group held its first meeting at Washington DC, USA at the GEF Secretariat.  Since that first meeting, IPAG has met regularly to advance the goals outlined in the IPAG Terms of Reference  and 2013-2015 Work Plan.

An important activity of the GEF IPAG is to raise awareness among Indigenous Peoples on opportunities for engagement with the GEF.  IPAG members have presented at various international forums, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and World Parks Congress.

IPAG Administration and Operations:

1) IPAG Terms of Reference
2) IPAG 2 Year Workplan (2013-2015)

The Advisory Group consists of the following members:

  • Ms. Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Center (IPAG Chair)
  • Ms. Mrinalini Rai, Indigenous Advisor and Gender Expert, CCRI, Global Forest Coalition
  • Ms. Yolanda Teran, Education Coordinator of the Indigenous Women Network on Biodiversity from Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, President, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Representative of the GEF NGO Network)
  • Mr. Gonzalo Oviedo, Senior Advisor, Social Policy Program, IUCN (Expert)
  • Mr. Terence Hay-Edie, Programme Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (GEF Agency Principal Representative)
  • Mr. Carlos Perez-Brito, Social Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (GEF Agency Alternate Representative)
  • Ms. Yoko Watanabe, Indigenous Peoples Focal Point and Senior Biodiversity Specialist, GEF Secretariat 

The GEF expresses appreciation to former members of the IPAG for their valuable contributions:

  • Mr. Marcial Arias Garcia
  • Mr. Johnson Cerd