A delegation from the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests joined the exchange mission with authorities of indigenous and local communities of Central Africa. From February 21 to 23, in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, the AMPB participated in the “Regional Workshop on Strategic Planning and Mobilization Actions 2022” of REPALEAC, a member organization of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC) in Africa.
REPALEAC (Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa) is made up of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in eight Central African countries that influence the management and sustainable management of various ecosystems such as forests tropical and rangelands.
On mission with the GATC, the Mesoamerican delegation accompanied the workshop with the aim of strengthening relations within the member organizations of the Global Alliance, learning more about REPALEAC’s territorial work and planning joint international advocacy actions. In addition, the aim was to strengthen the GATC and its presence on the African continent, strengthen the relationship with strategic allies, and define collaboration actions and work strategies.
Gustavo Sánchez, member of the AMPB Executive Commission, explained the general functioning of the GATC and its achievements during COP26, highlighting the importance of establishing synergies with the allies present for the strengthening of the global agenda and specifically of REPALEAC.
Joseph Itongwa, Coordinator of REPALEAC, thanked the GATC for its presence and interest in articulating and supporting global advocacy work. “Participation must be representative of the interests of indigenous peoples, it must integrate traditional knowledge, not in an isolated way, but connected to the territories, and in synergy with local actors,” Itongwa said.
Among the main results of the workshop are the definition of work axes, roadmap, activities for the mobilization of funds and the definition of new dates of exchange between REPALEAC, the GATC and strategic allies.
The GATC provides support to its member organizations in the framework of the implementation of the funds of the Bezos Earth Fund, received in 2021 jointly by the GATC, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Campaign for Nature.
The Bezos Earth Fund grant is intended to jointly expand recognition of tenure rights for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples in the tropical Andes and Congo Basin.
The funds are focused on the tropical Andes and the Congo Basin; however, 19% of the funds are expected to support the strengthening of the other AGCT regions (Mesoamerica, Indonesia and Brazil).
Some of the strategic allies who attended the workshop were Patrick Kipalu-Regional Director of the Rights Resource Initiative (RRI), Romuald Ngono Technical Advisor in Support of Institutional Aspects of IPLCs, GIZ COMIFAC Support Program of the German GIZ cooperation, Assomoyi Justrin, General Director of the Promotion of Indigenous Peoples of the Republic of the Congo, Haddy Say of the World Bank’s Social Development Unit, Rémi Orsier Director of the Research Documentation Center for Indigenous Peoples, and several of the REPALEAC regional coordinators from some member countries such as: Rwanda, Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others, who discussed the strengthening of governance, strategic framework and opportunities for collaboration.