News & Views

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas

Indigenous peoples and local communities have for millennia played a critical role in conserving natural environments and species. They have done this for a variety of purposes, including economic as well as cultural, spiritual and aesthetic. There are today thousands of ICCAs across the world, including forests, wetlands, and landscapes, village lakes, water catchment, rivers, coastal stretches and marine areas. The history of conservation and sustainable use in many of these areas is much older than government-managed protected areas, yet they are often neglected or not recognised in official conservation systems. Fortunately, there is  a growing recognition of ICCAs and acknowledgement of their role in the conservation of biodiversity. The ICCA Consortium is playing a leading role this movement.

These photos show a variety of Indigenous and local peoples in their ICCAs, including:

  • A threatened, sacred source in Cambodia
  • Villagers in Bogdan, Turkey, pointing to a sacred forest
  • A Tibeten man in Sichuan, China
  • Salatou Sambou in the sacred bolong of Mitiji, Calamance, Senegal
  • Chairperson of the Kumuá Yoamarã, guardian of Puerto Narino, Vaupes, Colombia
  • Alpine landscape in Guassa, an ancient ICCA in Ethiopia
  • Qashqai’s Namdan Plain (Kushk-e Zar) Wetland ICCA, Iran. Wetland, rangelands, the Qashqai nomads and their flocks

Photo credit: Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend