Unlocking Direct Funding Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: Expert Tips Across Various Sectors for Successful Access

In this webinar, you will gain insights into available funding opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and local communities and practical tips for accessing and leveraging them effectively.



Language: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Type: Virtual consultation
Organizers: Equator Initiative, United Nations Development Programme
Partners: GEF Small Grants ProgrammeOHCHRConservation InternationalIFAD,  Global Greengrants FundRe:wild

Meet the experts


UNDP and its partners recognize the crucial importance of channeling funding directly to Indigenous communities as an essential step for promoting cultural resilience, sustainable development, and addressing historical disparities, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable global society.

Acknowledging that much still needs to be done globally, this webinar shares some examples of direct funding opportunities currently available that can be grasped by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The webinar shares practical opportunities offered by UNDP and its partners, along with tips on how to best take advantage of them.

Webinar objectives

The webinar aims to:

  • Educate participants on the importance of funding to Indigenous Peoples and local communities for cultural resilience, sustainable development, and addressing historical disparities.
  • Provide examples of current funding opportunities available to Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
  • Equip participants with practical knowledge and tips to access and utilize funding opportunities effectively.
  • Foster understanding of the role of UNDP and its partners in promoting inclusivity and equity through funding initiatives.


The webinar consists of seven presentations:

  • Presentation 1. The Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
  • Presentation 2. KAWARI: Regranting Fund for Integrity in Forest Carbon Markets
  • Presentation 3. Indigenizing Philanthropy
  • Presentation 4. GEF Small Grants Programme / Partnerships, ICCA Support Initiative, COMDEKS, CBA
  • Presentation 5. The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF)
  • Presentation 6. United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples (UNVFIP)
  • Presentation 7. Direct Funding for Indigenous Peoples, and local communities


For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Anna Medri at anna.medri@undp.org, Miguel Luis Arias at miguel.luis.uson.arias@undp.org or Veronika Seemann at veronika.seemann@undp.org.

To learn more about UNDP’s Equator Initiative and the Equator Prize, you can check out our website at https://www.equatorinitiative.org/.


Webinar recording



Not Enrolled

Ilaria Carlotta Firmian
Senior Technical Specialist – Indigenous Peoples, IFAD

Ilaria Firmian is IFAD’s Senior Technical Specialist on Indigenous Peoples in IFAD’s Environment, Climate Gender and Social Inclusion Division. She has worked as Technical Adviser and Knowledge Officer on Environment, Climate and Natural Resources Management for 14 years in IFAD, supporting the mainstreaming of environmental, climate and social inclusion issues at policy/programme/project levels. Prior to joining IFAD, she has been working both on Land Tenure and Socio Economic and Gender Analysis with FAO, and as NGO Project Coordinator for an EU-funded project focusing on indigenous peoples’ livelihoods in the tropical Central African rainforests.

Johnson Cerda
Director Sénior DGM Global Executing Agency, Conservación Internacional

Johnson Cerda conducts research related to climate change, biodiversity and protected areas in Ecuador. Johnson is currently a member of the GEF/NGO Committee that represents the Indigenous peoples of Latin America.

Johnson Cerda is an Indigenous Kichwa of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Comuna Santa Elena – Limoncocha). Mr. Cerda has worked with Indigenous organizations in Ecuador and also in the regional organization of the Amazon CONFENIAE. He has collaborated with government institutions in Ecuador such as the Development Council of Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador (CODENPE) and the Institute for Eco development of the Amazon Region (ECORAE).

Mary Ann Bayang
Climate Change Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Specialist, UNDP (Climate Hub)

Mary Ann has joined the Climate Strategies and Policies Team of UNDP as Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Specialist. She will support scaling up and enhancing the work on Indigenous Peoples and local communities in climate action at the regional and HQ levels, to deliver an inclusive approach to support NDC implementation.

Minnie Degawan
Director, Regranting Fund for Integrity in Carbon Markets, Re:wild

Minnie Degawan, an Indigenous Kankanaey from the Cordillera, Philippines, directs the Regranting Fund for Integrity in the Carbon Market at Re:wild. Previously, she led Conservation International’s Indigenous Peoples Program for seven years, providing technical support in Convention on Biological Diversity discussions and heading the Indigenous and Conservation Fellowship. Minnie played a key role in developing the concept for the GEF-funded Inclusive Conservation Initiative. She fundraised successfully, securing $1.9M USAID funding to enhance IP and LC organizations’ capacities. Additionally, she heads the Resource Mobilization team of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity. With experience in fundraising and project implementation, Minnie contributes to biodiversity funding policies, informed by her involvement in the GEF Indigenous Peoples Task Force. Recently, she conducted research on barriers to IPs and LCs’ access to biodiversity funding.

Morse Flores
Human Rights Officer/Coordinator: OHCHR Indigenous & Minorities Fellowship Programmes, OHCHR

Morse Flores has been working for the United Nations in Geneva for the past 19 years, of which, about 10 at the International Labour Standard Department with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) where he served as an Expert on Indigenous Peoples Rights & Development with the ILO Programme to Promote ILO Convention NO. 169 (PRO 169) and served as the first Technical Secretariat of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP), a global partnership of 5 UN Agencies, namely: UNDP, ILO, OHCHR, UNICEF & UNFPA to promote the ILO Convention No 169 and UNDRIP a the country and regional levels. Following his stint at the ILO, Morse has been with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) since 2015 as Human Rights Officer, where is currently serving as the coordinator of the OHCHR Indigenous and Minorities Fellowship Programmes and as the Secretary of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples.

Naomi Lanoi Leleto
Coordinator for Global Indigenous Grantmaking, Global Greengrants Fund

Naomi is the Coordinator for Global Indigenous Grantmaking at Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) where she shares collective learning about inclusive grantmaking that supports the rights, self-determination, and environmental work of Indigenous Peoples. A Maasai woman from Narok, Kenya, Naomi previously worked at the Kenyan Land Alliance as their Women Land Rights Programme officer, advocating for effective implementation of Constitutional provisions for securing women’s land rights. She has an M.A. in Legal Studies from the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at James E. Roger College, University of Arizona.

Terence Hay-Edie
Programme Manager of the Global ICCA Support Initiative, UNDP (GEF SGP)

Dr. Terence Hay-Edie (Switzerland) manages the Global ICCA Support Initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. The initiative supports the achievement of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Targets: Target 3, Target 21, Target 22, and Target 23. Terence holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the Univ. of Cambridge, and an MSc in Environmental Change & Management from the Univ. of Oxford.