About the International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change

Indigenous Peoples

There are over 370 million indigenous people around the world. They have their own distinct languages, cultures, and social and political institutions apart from mainstream society. Though divided amongst all continents, at least 5000 different peoples, and approximately 4000 languages, they are coming together with a common voice to address historic inequities which have resulted in these groups being some of the most marginalized and victimized communities.


Indigenous Peoples, the Environment and Climate Change

Given their widespread reliance on natural resources and ecosystems, indigenous peoples and local communities are especially vulnerable to, and disproportionately impacted by, climate change. They are being forcibly removed from their lands by deforestation, sea-level rise, major infrastructure projects, and conflict arising from resource scarcity. All the while, they play a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation through their historic and effective role as stewards of much of the world’s remaining forests.

Traditional Knowledge

Since indigenous peoples often lack a voice in decision-making processes that affect them, it is imperative they are supported and enabled to participate in and influence global decision-making on climate change. Facilitating their participation can contribute to a stronger, more effective, and more equitable climate outcome by ensuring traditional knowledge, perspectives and innovations are taken into account. Indigenous peoples in particular have unique perspectives and aspirations for development and environment that are frequently not heard by decision-makers.

A Common Voice

Indigenous peoples (IPs) have a particular contribution to make in discussions around climate change and sustainability, given their strong historic and cultural connection and the stewardship role they continue to play in sustainably managing many of the world’s biological resources.


International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change

The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) was established in 2008, as the Caucus for IPs participating in the UNFCCC processes. The IIPFCC represents the IP Caucus members who are present/attending the official UNFCCC COPs and intersessional sessions of the SBSTA/SBI bodies in between COPs. Its mandate is to come into agreement specifically on what IPs will be negotiating for in specific UNFCCC processes. IP representatives attending the meetings have their own organizations at subnational, national and global levels which have their own agenda, priorities and own proposals that they may carry and push for during the IP Caucus meetings.