The UN System has established some funds that are specifically intended for indigenous peoples. Some of these funds are intended to help finance the participation of indigenous people at UN meetings, while other funds are for small projects and fellowship programmes.
Indigenous Peoples’ Participation in UN Related Meetings and Events
United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples
The Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples awards grants to representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations to travel and participate in the sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Human Rights Council, including its Universal Periodic Review mechanism, and the treaty bodies. The Fund is administered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. TheOHCHR website provides all of the relevant information, including application forms.
Convention on Biological Diversity Voluntary Funding Mechanism for Indigenous and Local Communities
The Convention on Biological Diversity has a voluntary fund to assist indigenous and local community representatives to participate in meetings of interest to them held under the Convention.
Information on meetings is available at the CBD’s calendar of meetings.
World Intellectual Property Organization Voluntary Contribution Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities
The World Intellectual Property Organization also has a voluntary fund for indigenous and local communities to participate in relevant WIPO meetings.The WIPO website has information about the fund, including application forms.
The Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme
The Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme aims to deliver global environmental benefits in the GEF Focal Areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation (primarily desertification and deforestation), and elimination of persistent organic pollutants through community-based approaches. Click here for more information
Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility
The objective of the IFAD Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) is to strengthen indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations by financing small-projects which foster their self-driven development in the framework of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to generate lessons learned and approaches for replication and up-scaling.
The Facility provides small grants of US$20,000 to US$50,000 to small projects designed and implemented by indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations. Click here for more information.
Indigenous Fellowship Programme
The aim of this OHCHR programme is to give indigenous peoples the opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights in general and indigenous issues in particular so they can assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of their people. In its first decade, more than 100 indigenous men and women from 46 countries undertook the programme. They provided human rights training to many more in their communities. Click here for more information.