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International conservation and targets

The role of ICCAs in global conservation

Recognition and reporting of ICCAs affects progress towards internationally adopted conservation goals, such the upcoming targets under the Global Biodiversity Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The ambitious post 2020 targets being negotiated will require collaboration across governments, private actors, indigenous peoples, local communities and others. Non-state conservation efforts such as ICCAs will play a crucial part in these discussions, building on from Aichi Targets focussing on coverage of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, as well as protection of traditional knowledge.

Building from the previous Aichi Target 11 we expect to see more of a focus on non-state conservation efforts, including those under indigenous and community governance. Furthermore, building from the previous Aichi Target 18, we expect a strong focus on traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities to be respected and integrated into conservation strategies.

Tracking progress towards international conservation targets

The Protected Planet Initiative has tracked progress towards Aichi Target 11, which expired in 2020. After 2020, it will continue to be used to track progress towards area-based conservation targets. ICCAs that are submitted to the Protected Planet Initiative as protected areas or OECMs are included in assessments of progress towards targets.

The need for recognition of ICCAs and their custodians

Indigenous peoples and local communities have been conserving biodiversity for millennia, but recognition of their efforts by the international community lags far behind that of formally designated protected areas. As global biodiversity continues to decline, ICCAs provide some of the most important safe havens for species and ecosystems. Governments have agreed on biodiversity targets to address this decline, and ICCAs have an important role to plan in achieving these targets. In order to do so, they require appropriate recognition and support from their national governments and the wider world.

Self-recognition and knowledge-sharing between communities is an important step towards this broader recognition. The ICCA Registry provides indigenous peoples and communities with a platform that supports this.

The ICCA Registry and Protected Planet are mentioned in several decisions of the CBD Conference of the Parties (CBD COP).

CBD COP decisions relating to the ICCA Registry

COP 10 Decision X/31, Invites Parties to:

(c) Consider voluntary in-depth reporting using standardized indexes and taxonomies including the proposed global registry of indigenous and community conserved areas, where applicable [emphasis added].

COP 11 Decision XI/24, Invites Parties to:

(e) Strengthen recognition of and support for community-based approaches to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in situ, including indigenous and local community conserved areas, other areas within IUCN governance types and initiatives led by indigenous and local communities that fulfil the objectives of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and support the voluntary use of the Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas Registry managed by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre [emphasis added].

COP 11 Decision XI/24

Requests the Executive Secretary, in partnership with relevant organizations, subject to the availability of funding, to continue supporting implementation of national action plans for the programme of work and progress towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and other related targets at the national, sub-regional and regional levels. These activities include…making available tools and technical guidance on those areas where progress is lacking, such as mainstreaming protected areas and defining area-based conservation measures; fostering relevant capacity-building for indigenous and local communities; and supporting the further development of local registries of indigenous and community conserved areas and the Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas Registry maintained by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre

See here how ICCAs are represented in biodiversity law and conservation policy: https://www.iccaconsortium.org/index.php/international-en/conservation-en/