Leaders from tropical forest regions around the world gathered in Jalisco, Mexico this week to attend the Governors' Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force Annual Meeting. Representing the STA were Earth Innovation Institute (EII), Pronatura Sur, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM), and INOBU.
During the meeting, STA members spearheaded several discussions on indigenous communities and REDD+, sustainable supply chains, and private sector partnerships. STA members are key partners to the GCF; EII is a technical advisor, and both Pronatura Sur and INOBU serve as regional coordinators for GCF members in Mexico and Indonesia respectively. Several STA members moderated working sessions during the GCF meeting, bringing together government representatives and civil society to discuss diverse topics, including private sector engagement, forest restoration opportunities and indigenous peoples and traditional communities.
EII and its partners hosted a side event titled "Indigenous and Traditional Communities and the GCF" to discuss collaborative pathways to low-emission rural development. Speakers included Candido Mezua of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests; Fredrick Hendrik Runaweri, the Head of the Provincial Forestry Office of West Papua, Indonesia; and Government representatives from three Brazilian states leading the way on sub-national innovation: Acre, Mato Grosso, and Rondônia. The panel highlighted the needs and priorities of indigenous peoples and traditional communities, as well as the sub-national advances underway in addressing those needs. The side event set the stage for Day 2 discussions during the GCF business meeting.
Six new members were voted into the GCF in countries and jurisdictions where the STA is already working on low-emissions rural development: Caquetá, Colombia; Huanuco and Piura, Peru; Maranhao, Brazil; Yucatan, Mexico; and North Kalimantan, Indonesia. This brings the total members to 35 sub-national governments, increases the amount of tropical forest within GCF regions, and represents more exciting opportunities for the STA to engage with diverse actors and regions strives towards LED-R.