On May 29, 2013 on the occasion of the first World Indigenous Network (WIN) in Darwin, Australia, UNDP, UNEP WCMC, and SGP launched a toolkit designed to assist civil society-led initiatives around the world to voluntarily conserve Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs). Local communities and indigenous peoples make substantial contributions to global conservation efforts and sustainable development. While these communities are often the primary 'resource stewards' who rely on ecosystems to meet food security, livelihood and health needs, their contribution to the achievement of global conservation targets have not yet been fully recognized.
In recognition of this fundamental role, SGP has been working for over five years to protect ICCAs and sacred natural sites (SNS), and the development of the toolkit is the result of the contributions of many organizations including the SGP, the ICCA Consortium, UNEP- WCMC, Gaia Foundation, the UNDP Equator Initiative, the Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) network of Australia, and many other partners. Through the work of these many different partners, the inclusion of the reference to ICCAs as "other effective area-based forms of conservation" under the Aichi 2020 Target 11 (on Protected Areas), and Target 18 (on Traditional Knowledge) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are a result of this concerted effort.
This toolkit, co-authored by Ms. Colleen Corrigan, from UNEP-WCMC, and Terence Hay-Edie, SGP's Programme Advisor for Biodiversity, documents sixteen case studies and highlights innovative tools and approaches developed to help local communities address critical challenges that affect their natural and cultural resources. The toolkit includes a diverse set of resources organized around five key themes (documentation, management planning, monitoring and evaluation, communication, and finance and values). The publication also offers a suite of tools to support the effectiveness and viability of ICCAs as governance structures for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.
In addition to being a valuable resource to practitioners, the toolkit provides a reminder to policy-makers that the achievement of the emerging post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs) will need to be linked to a comprehensive valuation of ecosystem services, as well as to be spearheaded at the grassroots by local civil society initiatives.
The toolkit can be downloaded here.