The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Government recently announced a new partnership to create a new global support initiative for territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs) at the High Level Segment (HLS) of the CBD COP12.
The 5-year initiative entitled 'Support to indigenous peoples' and community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs) through the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)' will be financed as a contribution to the achievement of Targets 11, 14 and 18 of the CBD Aichi 2020 framework, and will work in at least 26 countries at the global level.
The contribution for the initiative of 12m Euros ($16.3M) was selected through a competitive selection process as part of the International Climate Initiative (ICI) conducted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
ICCAs and "other effective area-based conservation measures" mentioned in CBD Aichi Target 11 are estimated to represent more than double the total existing coverage of protected areas managed by governments listed within the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The project will work to strengthen the Global ICCA Consortium, a membership-based organization of grassroots organizations protecting ICCAs, and will engage the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) to review the contribution of ICCAs towards the global Aichi targets through the revamped WDPA.
At the launch of the ICCA GSI during the HLS, the Parliamentary Secretary of the German government, Ms. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter noted that "over the next five years, the initiative will support ICCAs as natural solutions to the internationally recognized targets on the good governance of protected areas, protection of traditional knowledge, and support towards sustainable development established by the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, in 2012".
With over twenty years of experience, the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), currently operational in 130 countries worldwide, is based on the principle that civil society-led initiatives that generate local, as well as global, benefits are among the most ways to address global environmental challenges. Building upon a proven delivery modality for civil society and grassroots action, SGP's support to ICCAs from the GEF have led to a range of "integrated local level conservation solutions" which are now ready to be up-scaled and replicated.
As a contribution to the CBD Aichi targets, the Global ICCA Support Initiative will also support the effective and equitable governance of the global network of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures as part of the 'Promise of Sydney' to be launched at the forthcoming IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) from 12-19 November 2014 in Australia.
Photo courtesy SGP Indonesia/National Geographers