in May 2013, UNDP and UNEP jointly launched a new toolkit designed to assist civil society-led initiatives to voluntarily conserve Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs).
While local communities and indigenous peoples 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. Awareness of the role that these civil society initiatives have in conserving ecosystems is however growing under the Aichi 2020 targets of the CBD. Developed in partnership with the UNDP, the significance of community-based actions for biodiversity conservation will be further captured by the Global ICCA Registry (www.iccaregistry.org) established by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
In the new toolkit, sixteen case studies highlight innovative tools and approaches that local communities have developed to address critical challenges affecting their ICCAs. 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 by local civil society and grassroots initiatives.