In the closing months of 2018, the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme (GPAP) has been working with the ICCA Consortium to consolidate work under the project Global Support Initiative (GSI) for ICCAs, an abbreviation for the territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities or “territories of life”. This work has also focused on planning activities ahead for 2019.
In October, the partnership traveled to Lima, Peru to convene a national stakeholder workshop on the network of ICCAs in Peru. This event drew out discussions regarding the partnerships between the Peruvian protected areas agency (SERNANP) and thirteen different indigenous groups in Peru. The discussions examined in particular the shared governance structure ECA (Ejecutor de Contrato de Administración) which combines indigenous and state governance. The rich ancestral history and indigenous knowledge of the Harakmbut people in the communal reserve Amarakaeri under ECA authority was presented. Amarakaeri has just achieved certification as an IUCN Green List site recognising this excellence in good governance, sound design and planning, effective management, and positive conservation outcomes.
In November, GPAP joined two meetings of the ICCA Consortium in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The first meeting was the first regional assembly in Africa of the ICCA consortium which forms part of the ongoing regionalisation process of the work of the ICCA Consortium. This event brought together Consortium Members in Africa and Africa-related delegates from ICCA Consortium Member CICADA. Several African participants presented information on their current work on ICCAs, the situation of ICCAs in their country and plans for the future in the region. Barbara Lassen, from Natural Justice presented the on-going work on the ICCA Global Legal Reviews in the context of the GSI.
Shortly after this meeting, the XIIIth General Assembly (GA) of the ICCA Consortium was held which included a presentation of the 2019 Work Plan and new partnerships ahead. The GA of the ICCA Consortium also marked the beginning of the term of newly elected President Hon. Theodore (Teddy) Browner Baguilat from the Philippines. After several months of work by the Search Committee, Teddy was elected to serve for the next three years. Teddy is a member of the Tuwali indigenous tribe of Ifugao and the Gaddang indigenous Tribe of Nueva Vizcaya provinces in Northern Philippines. He has been an honorary member of the ICCA Consortium for several years. He also has been a leader championing the rights of indigenous peoples not only in the drafting of laws to recognise ancestral lands and ICCAs in the Philippines, but also has spoken in various international conferences on ICCAs, conservation and heritage sites, human rights and indigenous cultures. GPAP looks forward to continued good relations with the ICCA Consortium into 2019 and beyond!