The launch of the Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PRO-IP) is a historic step for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This groundbreaking policy represents the first time the Agency has laid out specific guidance for how we globally engage, work with, and empower Indigenous Peoples in a systematic way. Efforts are already under way to build institutional capacities in the Amazon Basin and in Nicaragua, support the Batwa from the Congo Basin to reduce the threat of deforestation and commercial bushmeat trade, improve livelihoods and food security across 237 Indigenous Peoples communities in Paraguay, and promote rights awareness at the government level in Uganda.
PRO-IP recognizes the value of Indigenous Peoples’ own decision-making processes, expertise as environmental and cultural stewards, and aspirations as rightful leaders for their development priorities. Further, it recognizes that they should be critical partners with USAID in the conservation of cultural and natural resources. PRO-IP builds on USAID’s experience in supporting Indigenous Peoples’ rights, consistent with our strategic approach to empower individuals and communities through helping governments, civil society including faith-based organizations, and the private sector on the Journey to Self-Reliance.
USAID is also pleased to announce the creation of the first global public-private partnership for Indigenous Peoples. Under USAID’s Global Development Alliance (GDA), the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development Program will provide technical support to our Missions globally to implement PRO-IP effectively.