Frequently Asked Questions

What information does the ICCA Registry contain?

The two main types of information stored in the ICCA Registry database are:

  • Descriptive information, such as community size and resource use, as well as objectives, governance and threats.
  • Spatial information, including the size and location of the area.

If the ICCA - territory of life custodians choose to submit a case study, multimedia data, such as photos and videos, are displayed on the case study pages.

Who can access information in the ICCA Registry?

The ICCA Registry database was made available to the public via the ICCA Registry website in January 2024. Prior to that date, it was an offline database. ICCA custodians have full control over whether their information is shared and can choose to place restrictions on their data to prevent it being publicly available. Where ICCA custodians have chosen to place restrictions on their data, information on their ICCAs is not available on the ICCA Registry website or in the downloadable database.

All case studies submitted to the ICCA Registry are available to the public through the interactive map and case study pages.

The ICCA Registry database and all other content within the ICCA Registry website is not currently available for commercial use, meaning any use by or for a commercial entity, whether revenue-generating or not, or any use that generates revenue for any type of entity. Further details here.

Data submitted to the Protected Planet Initiative can be viewed online here. This includes only data without restrictions on sharing. For more information on what restrictions you can put on your ICCA information, please see the ICCA manual: http://wcmc.io/iccadatamanual

How do I submit information about an ICCA to the ICCA Registry?

Use the Participate page for documents to help with the submission process. For more guidance on the requirements for submitting ICCA information, please see the ICCA manual here.

What platforms can ICCA information be submitted to?

ICCAs can be stored in the ICCA Registry, the Protected Planet Initiative databases or both.

The ICCA Registry collates and showcases the efforts of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to conserve their ICCAs across the world through a database and online case studies.

The Protected Planet Initiative stores information on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). A range of users, including governments, NGOs and communities, use it to track progress towards policy targets, to inform new conservation strategies and to educate. Indigenous Peoples and local communities who consider their ICCAs to meet either the definition of a protected area or an OECM may wish to submit data to the Protected Planet Initiative.

What is the difference between submitting information to the ICCA Registry and the Protected Planet Initiative databases?

The Protected Planet Initiative databases are spatial databases, available via the Protected Planet website, that show the boundaries of ICCAs alongside other kinds of protected areas and OECMs. They also store basic descriptive information, such as site name, governance type and management authority.

The ICCA Registry stores more detailed information on ICCAs, including their management objectives, biodiversity, and information about the communities involved. The databases are linked, and an ICCA can be listed in more than one.

Protected Planet is used to assess spatial aspects of the world's protected and conserved area system, such as coverage and connectivity. This includes measuring the contributions of ICCAs to conservation around the world. The ICCA Registry supplements this information by storing details on the Indigenous Peoples and communities that govern ICCAs, their motivations for doing so, the biodiversity they protect, and their history.

At present, Indigenous Peoples and local communities can only submit data to the Protected Planet Initiative if their ICCA aligns with the definition of either a protected area or an OECM. This is not the case for the ICCA Registry.

What is the peer review process?

Unless it has been verified by the relevant national government, peer review is a requirement for ICCA data submitted to the Protected Planet Initiative as a protected area or OECM. ICCAs will not be included in the Protected Planet Initiative until the review has taken place. Peer review is not a requirement for ICCA data to be in the ICCA Registry, though it is encouraged where possible.

When submitting data, ICCA custodians can choose whether their data should be verified by the national government or reviewed by a national peer review network. If peer review is chosen, the reviewers will:

  • Raise any concerns regarding the data or how it was collected, including issues of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). This is important to reduce the chance of data being provided without the agreement or knowledge of an ICCA’s custodians.
  • Check the accuracy of the data.
  • Check for alignment with definitions, i.e. ICCA, protected area or OECM, depending on the database the data has been submitted to.

More broadly, the ICCA networks that carry out peer review have an important ‘support’ role which:

  • Supports self-strengthening within and between ICCA custodian communities
  • Facilitates mutual support among custodian communities

The peer review process for ICCAs has been developed in acknowledgement of the fact that other Indigenous Peoples and local communities are best placed to review the submitted ICCA data.

Some countries have already developed national ICCA networks with peer review processes. For example, you can learn about the peer review processes in Ecuador and Spain by visiting this page. Where a peer review process does not yet exist, UNEP-WCMC will hold ICCA data until a review network has been established in-country and will provide connections to national partners who can support the development of this network.

What is the ICCA Consortium?

The ICCA Consortium was formed during the 2008 World Conservation Congress by several small Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and organizations representing Indigenous Peoples and community constituencies with years of experience working on ICCA issues. The group developed a broad programme to promote the recognition and appropriate support of ICCAs at national and international levels. The ICCA Consortium advises UNEP-WCMC on the management of the ICCA Registry.

Why can't I find information for ICCAs in certain countries?

Because the ICCA Registry grows on a site-by-site basis, there are not yet case study examples for all countries or territories that have ICCAs. New contributions on ICCAs in any country are welcome at any time. To submit information about an ICCA, please visit the participate page, or email us at iccaregistry@unep-wcmc.org.