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Supporting Community Conservation

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) cover between 12 and 22 percent of the earth’ territory. There is convincing evidence that ICCAs do not only sustain many unique cultures and livelihoods, but that they are also far more effective as far as forest conservation and restoration is concerned than conventional protected areas. Together with other members of the ICCA consortium [http://www.iccaconsortium.org/] we promote the legal and political recognition of ICCAs and the autonomous governance structures and rights of the communities that manage them.

Together with other groups we have also started a Community Conservation Resilience Initiative to assess and strengthen the resilience of community conservation. Through participatory processes, we encourage communities to assess the resilience of their own conservation practices in light of external and internal threats, and to develop concrete, bottom-up recommendations for appropriate support for their conservation practices.

The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative

Towards Demand-driven Support for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Conserving biocultural diversity and respecting and promoting the rights and role of Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women in nurturing biocultural diversity is of fundamental importance to reducing and reversing deforestation and biodiversity loss in general.

The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative was established by an informal alliance of national and international Indigenous Peoples’ organisations, non-governmental organisations and social movements that shared a joint belief in community governance and rights-based approaches to ecosystem conservation and restoration. Aside from the Global Forest Coalition key partners include Natural Justice, the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee and the ICCA Consortium.

IPLCs as a Cornerstone

It is broadly recognized that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) play a central role in the implementation of ecosystem conservation and restoration strategies on the ground.

The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative carries out a participatory assessment of the resilience of Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) and other biocultural conservation approaches.

It recognizes the cultural value in these approaches and seeks to explore and promote the legal, political, socio-economic, financial, technical, and capacity-building support that could be provided to sustain and strengthen these initiatives and approaches.

Policy support

The initiative will use the findings of the community assessments for national and international advocacy campaigns that will promote policies that provide effective and appropriate forms of support to the endogenous, biocultural approaches to biodiversity conservation and restoration implemented by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, including ICCAs.

For more details on the CCRI please see the Methodology Paper and Resources.