The ICCA Consortium is an international membership organisation dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition and support of Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCAs).
The Consortium works to promote the appropriate recognition of ICCAs – or territories of life – at the regional, national and international levels. It brings together 161 Members that are either indigenous peoples’ organisations and federations (IPOs), community-based organisations and federations (CBOs) or civil society organisations working closely with indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs).
The Consortium also assembles 401 Honorary Members from 80 countries that are nominated individuals with remarkable experience, concerns and capacities to support ICCAs. Alongside a yearly general assembly regional assemblies take place regularly and bring together all Members and Honorary Members to coordinate the global and regional work of the Consortium.
Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) make up only 6 per cent of the global population, yet their ancestral territories coincide with 85 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, represent 40 per cent of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes on Earth, store up to 300,000 metric tons of carbon in their soil and trees, and their natural integrity and resilience are of global importance.
The cultures, identities and spirituality of IPLCS are inextricably linked to their natural environment. The intimate relationship between people and nature that results from this, and decades of traditional knowledge, results in community-based conservation efforts that have often been more or at least as effective in conserving biodiversity than traditional conservation efforts.
Yet, the rights and lands of IPLCs are increasingly endangered by invader commercial interests that see their ancestral lands as a source of quick profit. Natural resource-intensive industrial activities such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, and infrastructure and energy developments are deeply and increasingly affecting their integrity and resilience.)
Protecting ICCAs and the people that live in them is crucial in addressing the biodiversity, climate and economic crises, as well as social inequalities and injustices. The ICCA Consortium is responding to these threats and opportunities by actively upholding ICCAs by promoting ICCA self-strengthening processes at local levels, networking, peer-support and advocacy at national and sub-national level, and networking, peer-support and advocacy at international level.
By promoting ICCAs, the Consortium realises the broader vision of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing of IPLCs, within the context of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Synchronicity Earth’s Flourishing Diversity Programme is supporting the ICCA Consortium’s communication and regional coordination work to help IPLCs around the globe to protect their rights and realise their vision of a prosperous and healthy future for people and nature alike.