Jan 19, 2023
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) created the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM) in 2010 and is the DGM’s main funding instrument to date. The DGM supports Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in developing countries and empowers them as the most effective guardians of the world's forests and natural ecosystems, thereby contributing to reducing climate change. CIF recognizes that climate change and climate finance have a major impact on this group, as well as other minority or underrepresented constituencies. Therefore, ongoing engagement with Indigenous groups and civil society organizations is a priority. CIF benefits from the participation of 43 non-state observers in our decision-making bodies and has taken part in policy dialogue meetings with African, Asian, European and US stakeholders.
Canada, a major CIF partner, benefits from an active civil society organization landscape in climate action as well as a strong representation of First Nations groups. A few days before COP15 in Montreal, CIF’s Mafalda Duarte, CEO, and Dora Nsuwa Cudjoe, Senior Operations Officer, travelled to Ottawa for a policy dialogue with Canadian climate activists and experts from civil society, in partnership with the Climate Action Network (CAN Canada) and with support from the Government of Canada.
The hybrid meeting brought together some 40 representatives from environment and climate civil society organizations, First Nations groups, trade unions, foundations, and other stakeholders from across Canada. It provided a platform for thoughtful and frank discussion on the climate crisis and highlighted the strategic role of CIF, in partnership with partner countries and multilateral development banks.
In her opening remarks, Mafalda Duarte shared her own journey of witnessing climate impacts in Africa and how that led her to commit her career in development to focus on climate ambition and action. “We continue to believe that the best climate action comes from those closest to it. Which is why we co-created tools like the Dedicated Grant Mechanism with Indigenous and local communities to empower them to lead on climate projects.” she explained. “We place gender equity and social inclusion at the center of our mission, to help developing countries spark transformative change. We know it’s not just the right thing to do, but the SMART thing to do.”
The agenda also included initial remarks by the Head of CAN Canada, Eddy Perez and the Director General for the Innovation and Climate Finance Bureau at Global Affairs Canada, Cam Do. She reiterated the Canadian Government’s commitment to increasing global financing for climate resilience and noted their CAD$1 billion contribution to the CIF for work addressing coal abatement through the Accelerating Coal Transition (ACT) Investment Program. CIF’s experts on evaluation and learning, gender, coal transition and nature-based solutions also presented the latest on their work, including the women-led coal transition program.
Participants asked a wide range of questions during the lively discussion, addressing gender inclusion, its coverage (sexual orientation and identity) and measurement; broader social inclusion and participation by affected communities, including Indigenous Peoples’ groups in just transition initiatives; the role of natural gas and other fossil fuels (beyond coal) in the transition; and water conservation.
Thanks to this initial engagement, Canadian civil society groups strengthened their understanding of the role of CIF in climate finance, and CIF is now in a better position to understand the climate policy views of Canadian civil society. This will lead to further opportunities for engagement and collaboration.