Joan Carling

Global Indigenous rights leader

Region(s): Global
Country of focus: India, Nepal, Philippines
Based in Philippines


Current Occupation: Global Indigenous rights leader
Organization/Institution: Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Language: English, Filipino, Ilocano


Indigenous communities make clean energy drive work for, not against, them Mongabay Jun 3, 2024

Indigenous leaders call on companies to respect their right to say “no” to mining Oxfam America Apr 24, 2024

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Must Lead the Way to a Just Energy Transition Ford Foundation Dec 1, 2023

Rechargeable battery industry needs better mining regulations, report says Mongabay Sep 29, 2023

A transition to clean energy was supposed to be equitable Grist April 24, 2023

Free, prior and informed consent ‘is more than just a checklist’ High Country News Apr 21, 2023

Fighting “green colonialism” Q and A with Joan Carling in D+C Mar 15, 2023

COP15 deal needs a ‘holistic approach to conservation’: Q&A with Joan Carling and Ramiro Batzin Mongabay Dec 16, 2022

COP 27 -Joan Carling: Recognize Indigenous Peoples As Stewards Of Nature Indigenous Rights Radio Nov 16, 2022

Experts debate on how to achieve green economy Development +Cooperation Nov 9, 2022

The Impact Of Global Decisions On Local Communities – Joan Carling At COP26 Indigenous Rights Radio

DR Congo using Covid to exploit environment, indigenous rights threatened: report Radio France Internationale Feb 18, 2021

Restore Indigenous land rights to unlock traditional knowledge and repair ecosystems Landscape News May 27, 2019

UN Champions of the Earth Award recognizes eco-defender Joan Carling Landscape News Sept 27, 2018

Science-educated indigenous girls, women can help communities combat climate change Landscape News Feb 9, 2018



Joan Carling (@JoanCarling) is a global Indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines. She is co-convener of Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and director of Indigenous Peoples Rights International (@IPRightsIntl) working directly with Indigenous organizations and networks across the globe.

Joan has been working on Indigenous issues at the grassroots to international levels for more than 20 years. Her field of expertise includes human rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, sustainable development, environment, and climate change, as well as the principles and application of Free Prior and Informed Consent, and business and human rights. She was Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact,  a coalition of 50 Indigenous organizations across Asia, from 2008 to 2016.

She was appointed by the UN ECOSOC as an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues  for 2014-16. In 2018, she won the United Nations Environment Programme’s Champions of the Earth Award for a lifetime of dedication protecting land and environmental rights of Indigenous Peoples.