Confronted with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the world is now facing the greatest health, economic and social challenge in the recent times. For communities living in indigenous peoples and community-conserved territories and areas (ICCAs), COVID-19 poses grave health threats since they already experience lack of access to healthcare, essential services, sanitation, and other key preventive measures, and have significantly higher rates of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Moreover, indigenous peoples’ traditional lifestyles are a source of their resiliency, yet, they entail large gatherings that render threats at this time in preventing the spread of virus. To this end, indigenous peoples and local communities have closed their borders and enforced restrictions on mobility and group gatherings within their territories to help prevent the spread of the virus. However, these have negatively impacted food supply and their livelihoods as well as creating awareness gaps on the novel pandemic amongst indigenous communities, and thereby, exacerbating food insecurity and chronic poverty already faced by many.
The ICCA-GSI Phase 2 is implemented in 45 countries including Afghanistan, Argentina, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, China, Colombia, DR Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Micronesia (Federal States), Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, and Zambia.
The projects in the participating countries will fall under the following thematic categories:
i. Food production systems (agroecology and agroforestry)
ii. Local bio-circular economy
iii. Prevention of zoonoses and future pandemics
iv. Sustainable and well-governed wildlife consumption
v. Territorial mapping and demarcation
vi. Transmission of traditional medical knowledge
vii. Communication and lessons sharing through culturally appropriate means and
viii. Deployment of traditional knowledge of fire management
In mid-December 2021, training was provided to the 45 participating countries to jumpstart the project cycle. The calls for proposals for the ICCA-GSI COVID-19 Response projects were advertised from December 2020 through May 2021.
As of February 2023, a total of 359 projects are under implementation.
In alignment with the overall objective of the ICCA-GSI Phase 1, support in recognizing and building upon the vital role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in conserving biodiversity extends to this phase. In 2021, ICCA-GSI and its partners launched three global reports to provide unequivocal and compelling evidence that global biodiversity goals would be unattainable without the full inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. These reports are available in different languages. For more information, please see Global biodiversity goals cannot be achieved without Indigenous Peoples and local communities, according to three new reports (undp.org)
The ICCA-GSI work from 2014 to 2022 (Phase 1 and Phase 2)
The publication entitled The Global Support Initiative to territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities consolidates the work of the ICCA-GSI from 2014 to 2022.
This publication was launched at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) in Montreal, Canada on December 2022. Its key components include (i) the definition of and threats to ICCAs; (ii) the objective of the ICCA-GSI; (iii) the coalition of global partners; (iv) ICCA-GSI methodologies and tools; (v) governance assessments; (vi) support in ICCAs to build resilience to pandemics and climate change; (vii) 14 country case studies; and (viii) future directions - how the ICCA-GSI will contribute to the Global Biodiversity Framework for managing nature through 2030.
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21 August 2022
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ICCA-GSI is a multi-partnership initiative that is delivered by the UNDP-implemented Small Grants Programme (SGP) and funded by the Government of Germany, through its Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). Key partners include the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Global Programme on Protected Areas (IUCN GPAP), the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP WCMC), and the ICCA Consortium