The recent assassination of Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras raises important questions about philanthropic strategies for the Earth’s frontline defenders. Environmental donors, in particular, find natural allies in Indigenous leaders who – like Berta Cáceres – risk their lives for the world’s remaining biodiversity. A recent report starkly documented the lethal threat to Indigenous environmental activists. According to Global Witness, of at least 116 environmental activists murdered in Latin America, almost half were from Indigenous communities.
As demand intensifies for the Earth’s remaining resources, the violence against those who defend them is expected to escalate, particularly in Latin America. According to Global Witness, around the world “on average two people are killed every week defending their land, forests, and waterways against the expansion of large-scale agriculture, dams, mining, logging and other threats.” While Indigenous community projects meet donor program goals, the question remains of how the philanthropic community can reciprocate with a comprehensive strategy to protect both the environment – and the people on the frontlines defending it.
At this crucial time, IFIP is hosting its first Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference in Lima, Peru, from October 25-27. Following its predecessors, this event will serve as a catalyst for vital conversations and new collaboration between donors and Indigenous communities on the frontlines. The Conference Planning Committee has decided to dedicate the event to Berta Cáceres, who had participated in an IFIP event on the security of Indigenous human rights defenders following her receipt of the Goldman Environmental Prize last year.
The Theme is: Buen Vivir: Supporting the Role of Indigenous Peoples in Bio-Cultural Diversity, Human Rights and Sustainable Economic Models and our three tracks of sessions will cover:
Track 1: Investing in Indigenous Models of Sustainable Development
Track 2: Protecting Ancestral Territories and Rights
Track 3: Walking in Two Worlds: Why Indigenous Wisdom Will Be Vital To Our Future
To find out more info check out www.internationalfunders.org
Registration will open first week of April 2016.