Joan Carling

Global Indigenous rights leader

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

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, 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.