First Nations Representatives Travel to Colombia to Share Lessons from the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements

Delegates from Peru, Columbia, Canada, and WWF gatherined in Colombia to share experiences with establishing permanent conservation financing.

The following is an excerpt from an article published on The Tyee, by Andrew MacLeod. Read the full article here.

Representatives of two First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and a conservation financing group are in Colombia this week to share what they’ve learned about supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development.

An Indigenous representative from Peru with CONAP (left), speaks to the conference about permanent conservation financing. Also pictured are Chief Councillor Douglas Neasloss (centre) and executive director of Na̲nwak̲olas Council, Merv Child.

The trip follows a visit to British Columbia in 2015 by a World Wildlife Fund delegation of Indigenous people from around the world, said Brodie Guy, the executive director of Coast Funds. That delegation included visitors from Colombia and Peru who are working on setting up something similar in their home to what’s been done in the Great Bear.

“Now they’ve asked us to come back because they’re getting much further along in their conservation plans and also their financing,” Guy said.

Guy said it’s one of only a few such organizations in the world, alongside ones working in Bhutan, Costa Rica and Brazil.

On Monday, Guy travelled to Colombia along with Merv Child, the executive director of the Na̲nwak̲olas Council, and Douglass Neasloss, chief councillor of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation.

Hosted by WWF Colombia, they will meet with delegates from the Dedicated Grant Mechanism Saweto Memoria Viva from Peru, the Visión Amazonía Program from Colombia and the Herencia Colombia Program.

A slide from the Visión Amazonía Program, showing deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

According to the agenda, the goal of the meetings is to “identify lessons learned and recommendations that strengthen the design and implementation of long-term financing mechanisms for conservation, and mitigation or adaptation to climate change initiatives, with Indigenous peoples.”

WWF Colombia wrote about the trip in two different articles: What can we learn from Canada about indigenous climate funds? and Yes! There are Financing Opportunities for Indigenous Communities

Read the full article on The Tyee here. Listen to Chief Councillor Douglas Neasloss speak about the trip on CFNR here