ICCA-GSI Phase 1

International attention has been focused on global environmental issues for over four decades since the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Yet, climate change, habitat loss and anthropogenic pressures continue to threaten in situ biodiversity conservation and loss of traditional knowledge around the world.  With the adoption of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi 2020 framework in 2010, biodiversity management strategies are increasingly recognizing and building upon the vital role of local communities and indigenous peoples in conserving biodiversity outside of the framework of formal government-recognized Protected Areas (PAs).

As such, the Global Support Initiative to territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (ICCA-GSI) was formed in 2014 to broaden the range and quality of diverse governance types in recognizing ICCAs and achieve the Aichi 2020 targets.  ICCA-GSI's objective is to improve the recognition and overall effectiveness for biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods and resilience to climate change effects of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Furthermore, the ICCA-GSI Phase 2 was launched in 2020 as a rapid response initiative to the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed at supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities to cope and recover from this new challenge.  Both ICCA-GSI Phases 1 and 2 also contribute to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UNDP strategic framework (2012-2020) entitled "The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystem ---Driving Sustainable Development".


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Phase 1 of the ICCA-GSI is implemented in 26 countries including Argentina, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Suriname, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia.

It will create a framework for systemic change through its three distinct components, referred to as “Work Packages”:

Work Package 1: Direct financial support to community-based action and demonstration on sound ICCA stewardship for the purposes of ecosystem protection, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction.
Work Package 2: Legal, Policy and other forms of support for ICCA recognition and conservation (including governance assessments of protected areas and landscapes).
Work Package 3: Networking, knowledge production and exchange between national CSO initiatives at regional and global levels.


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Through the enhanced capacities of all engaged partners, the 26 countries will be supported in:
  • (i) Having improved tracking tools to assess the vitality, security and socio-ecological resilience of IICAs and protected landscapes.
  • (ii) Contributing to national strategies pertaining to the diversification of the governance arrangements for the Protected Areas (PAs);
  • (iii) Achieving CBD Aichi 2020 Targets relating to increasing the coverage of protected areas (Target 11), improving ecosystems that provide essential services (Target 14), and respecting and protecting traditional knowledge (Target 18).


Progress to-date:

Since 2015, ICCA-GSI has been organizing knowledge-exchange and capacity development workshops at the global, regional and national scales. These are aimed towards the recognition of ICCAs, Protected Areas (PA) governance & co-management arrangements and are complemented with site visits to ICCAs for hands-on learning experiences.

Major components included the identification of ICCA threats and opportunities in various countries, the establishment of national and regional learning networks to coordinate the support for ICCAs, the identification of policy gaps and providing support to legal and policy frameworks to enhance ICCA recognition.

In 2016, the implementation of community-based projects commencedAs of January 2022, there are 278 projects aimed at safeguarding and integrating the contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities towards achieving Aichi Targets 11, 14 and 18.  Implemented by the communities themselves, the projects continue to bring multi-level stakeholders together in promoting community values, bio-cultural heritage and solidarity for global benefits.

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Newsletters* (from latest):

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 6

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 5

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 4

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 3

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 2

ICCA-GSI Newsletter, Issue No. 1

*For Newsletter 7 and beyond, please go to the ICCA-GSI Phase 2 page.

Photo Stories

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 8 August 2021

The Living Forest: Innovative conservation efforts of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku earn the Equator Prize 2021 (EN)

Selva Viviente: Las iniciativas de conservación innovadoras del pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku ganan el Premio Ecuador 2021 (SP)


Traditional knowledge for a sustainable future: Securing Indigenous land rights and protecting biodiversity in Tanzania

Our Lake, Our Life:  Protecting their lake and their lifeline, this group from central Madagascar is leading the way in territorial governance, resilience, and local well-being

Indigenous Allies:  Supporting indigenous peoples’ territories and areas to conserve biodiversity and improve livelihoods in Belize 

International Biodiversity Day, 22 May 2019

Ancestral Ingenuity: Harnessing traditional knowledge and innovation in Morocco, conservation & livelihoods flourish (EN)

Savoirs ancestraux: Le Maroc tire parti des connaissances traditionnelles pour preserver l'environnement et les modes de vie (FR)

Women, Culture, and Territory: Safeguarding biodiversity by protecting Ancestral Culture in Colombia (EN)

Mujeres, cultura y territorio: Salvaguardando la biodiversidad y protegiendo la cultura ancestral en Colombia (SP)

* For photo stories in 2022, please visit the ICCA-GSI Phase 2 page


List of Conferences and Workshops (in reverse chronological order):
A resource library is in the 'Document' section located at the bottom of this page.

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 United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP WCMC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Global Programme on Protected Areas (IUCN GPAP), the ICCA Consortium and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).


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