While Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) remain the least understood and recognized of all protected areas, they are gaining national and international recognition as important areas for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity.
In addition, ICCAs and other community-based conservation initiatives play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2003, the World Commission on Protected Areas officially recognized ICCAs as a protected area designation. Global land coverage by ICCAs is estimated to be comparable to government protected areas and in some areas, such as Mexico, it is greater (www.iccaforum.org). As recognition increases, there is a growing need for indigenous and local community members, their NGO partners and policy makers to be able to effectively exchange experiences, and actively discuss challenges and successes with community-based conservation.