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IFAD's Statement by Mattia Prayer Galletti Lead Technical Specialist at UNPFII

Location: New York

26 April 2019

Excellences, distinguished IPs delegates, honorable elders,

It is my honor to be here for the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues and to have the opportunity to share the progress of IFAD’s work with the Indigenous Peoples.

For more than 40 years, IFAD has invested and advocated for poor rural people in order to end hunger and poverty through rural transformation.

For over 30 years Indigenous Peoples have been a priority in IFAD’s work.

Today, 30 per cent of our ongoing projects support Indigenous Peoples’ communities, across 38 countries, with a total IFAD funding of about US$800 million.

In 2009, IFAD’s board approved the Indigenous Peoples’ Policy along with two concrete instruments aimed at translating principles into actions.

The first is the Indigenous Peoples Forum with the objective of ensuring a continuous dialogue and strengthen the partnerships between IFAD and indigenous peoples.

The last Global Meeting of the Forum was held in February 2019 and focused on "promoting indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovation for climate resilience and sustainable development".

Indigenous Peoples have much to teach the world about how to respect, protect, and conserve our ecosystems and the planet as a whole. Their ancestral knowledge is particularly valuable at a time when communities around the world are trying to adapt to and mitigate climate change. The agriculture of the 21st century can learn from their sustainable and holistic practices.

The second instrument is the Indigenous People Assistance Facility, which channels funds directly to projects that are designed and managed by indigenous communities themselves.

Since the beginning of operations in 2007, about 97,000 people have benefited from 127 projects in 46 countries. Half of the participants have been women.

These projects have covered areas related to climate change adaption, environmental sustainability and natural resource management, land tenure, and food security.

But demand is far higher than we are able to meet by ourselves -- only 5 per cent of the proposals we receive can be funded by IFAD -- which is why we are looking to expand our co-financing partnerships.

Both these instruments, the IP Forum and the IPAF, are governed by a Board composed of indigenous peoples’ leaders.

At IFAD, in line with the principles of the UNDRIP, we believe that giving Indigenous Peoples the driving seat is the best way to ensure inclusive rural transformation, based on consent which, let's not forget it, is much more than a mere consultation.

At IFAD, we also believe that without supporting Indigenous Peoples many Sustainable Development Goals set by the Agenda 2030 will not be achieved.

Thank you Madam Chair.