General Assembly of the ICCA Consortium

07 September 2010 | News story

24 October 2010, Nagoya (Japan) – in conjunction with CBD COP 10 The “ICCA Consortium” is an association of organizations with experience and commitment in supporting indigenous peoples' conserved territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs) at local, national and/or international levels.

Its members are indigenous and non indigenous grassroots organisations and small NGOs, while its honorary members (with advisory role but no voting rights at the General Assembly) are individuals with similar proven capacities and commitment. The Consortium was established in an informal way at the World Conservation Congress of 2008 in Barcelona (Spain) and, since then, has been steadily collaborating with a number of key partners – such as GEF SGP, UNEP WCMC and GTZ, and with the IUCN CEESP Commission (TILCEPA and TGER in particular) for the organisation of relevant meetings, workshops and side events at international policy gatherings (including forthcoming events at CBD COP 10) and to develop and diffuse relevant publications.

The main reason to be of the Consortium is to promote the appropriate recognition of ICCAs, and their positive, non-destructive support at local, national and international levels. This is particularly important today, as the Convention on Biological Diversity is recognising the value and conservation importance of ICCAs and is asking national governments to follow up on their obligations under the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas. Much can be gained but much, unfortunately, can also be lost in this delicate moment of “recognising and supporting” phenomena that are, for their very nature, uniquely grounded in local cultures and values. The Consortium has been active on this, providing advice to national actors and policy makers and distilling lessons learned from past policy and practice. A voluntary system by which indigenous peoples and local communities can inscribe their ICCAs into a special Registry at UNEP WCMC is also under development and the Consortium has been providing advice on that as well. The specifics of the Free Prior and Informed Consent procedures for the Registry will be further discussed in a dedicated workshop in Nagoya.

In June 2010, the ICCA Consortium acquired legal personality as non-profit association under the Swiss Civil Code and its next General Assembly is now scheduled to happen in Nagoya, in the occasion of CBD COP 10. The date has been fixed (24 October) but the venue is still under discussion. For more information please see www.iccaforum.org. Specific enquiries should be sent to gbf@cenesta.org.

Picture of a recent meeting of ICCAConsortium members and partners at CBD SBSTTA 14 (Nairobi), in May 2010.