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To safeguard human rights and successfully address climate change and biodiversity loss, carbon markets must fully engage our planet’s forest stewards.

The Kawari Fund

In the Inga language (a variation of the Quechuan language) spoken in southern Colombia, the word “kawari” means a panoramic view of the forest or the landscape.

“Kawari” describes the spirit of the fund, which brings together a diversity of elements to enable the holistic and inclusive protection of forests, biodiversity and Indigenous rights, much like the various components of an ecosystem work together for planetary health.

Apply for Funding

We have closed the call for LoIs for the first phase of our granting cycle.  We are currently evaluating the LoIs to decide on which ones will move forward to the full proposal stage.  Kindly check on this site regularly for updates.

We continue to receive requests for Quick Action Grants as these will be evaluated and decided on separately.

For more information, please contact: kawari@rewild.org

The Issue

Demand for carbon credits from nature-based solutions is growing around the world. The pace of growth of this demand often means that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are not adequately consulted, leading to rushed decision-making and unfair benefit sharing that have negative long-term implications for their communities. In the worst cases, Indigenous rights are violated. Communities are displaced. New rules over land and resources are created that communities didn’t agree to. The inadequate representation of Indigenous voices and perspectives in the nature-based carbon world also means the knowledge and opinions of the most important stakeholders are being ignored.

The Solution

The Kawari Fund was created to promote and secure the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in carbon negotiations, with particular focus on jurisdictional (national or subnational) initiatives.

The Fund provides a trusted source of financial support in the carbon space for Indigenous peoples and local communities to strengthen their role and negotiating position in carbon markets while also ensuring that they benefit equitably from carbon trading schemes they engage with. Kawari seeks to enable stakeholders to negotiate carbon deals that favor their endogenous visions of development, and to opt out of unfavorable deals. The fund also helps support NGOs and governments working to achieve high-integrity emissions reductions. 

Kawari grants provide nimble and dedicated support to enable the development of initiatives with high-integrity and high impact for climate change, biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. The objectives of the fund are to:

  • Enhance the enabling environment for rights-based governance by supporting a favorable policy and legal framework;

  • Strengthen capacities, skills, and voice of partners to effectively engage, to decide whether and how to participate, and to negotiate on a level playing field with program developers;

  • Support the effective participation, collaboration, and partnership of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities with other stakeholders, strengthening their leadership of and benefit from forest carbon initiatives;

  • Integrate safeguard requirements, systems, and processes in the design and implementation of jurisdictional forest carbon finance initiatives.

How It Works

The Kawari Fund is administered by Re:wild. It is guided by an advisory council composed of experts in climate finance, biodiversity, and Indigenous rights, including Indigenous representatives. The council plays a central role in refining the fund’s scope, priorities, and strategy.

Examples of activities the fund will support include:

  • Policy review or assessment to operationalize benefit sharing mechanisms, ensure alignment with the Cancun safeguards, operationalize Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) processes, and/or define rights to carbon credits.

  • Trainings on forest carbon finance initiatives for communities, including but not limited to, clarifying the processes, requirements, benefits and risks from engaging in jurisdictional initiatives; understanding the safeguards systems required for jurisdictional REDD+ programs; raising awareness of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities of their rights, how to exercise them, and how to seek remedies through grievance redress mechanisms or other channels as appropriate.

  • Regional gatherings of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities that support capacity building and strengthening solidarity among those engaged in carbon discussions to advance their rights in the region.

  • The participation of Indigenous peoples and community members in relevant national gatherings related to the jurisdictional initiatives where their voices are needed.

  • Technical assessments on how Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities' perspectives could be incorporated into the design and development of safeguards information systems.

  • Trainings and/or dialogues with government officials on how to engage in monitoring compliance with the Cancun safeguards.

How You Can Support

The Kawari Fund’s core initial donors include the Packard Foundation via the Climate & Land Use Alliance (CLUA) and the Hewlett Foundation. It is open to support from philanthropic, corporate and public sector donors. The fund’s governance structure is designed for independence, giving donors a defined, limited role in decision making to ensure legitimacy of the process. Please contact us at kawari@rewild.org for more information on supporting the Kawari Fund.

Amazon landscape