ICCAs or territories of life are areas that are conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities. They are characterized by a deep connection between the territory and the community, where a functioning governance or institution exists, and where governance decisions of the community contributes to the conservation and well-being of the entire population.
Found in all cultures and ecosystems, ICCAs are considered to be the oldest form of conservation on earth. These territories are deeply linked to the identity, culture and livelihoods of peoples who are involved in its management and sustainability, as embodied in their customary laws and practices.
NTFP-EP is an active member of the global ICCA Consortium, an association connecting initiatives at local, national, regional and international levels to promote, protect and give appropriate recognition to indigenous and community-conserved areas.
The ICCA Consortium supports activities towards improved policies and practices relevant for ICCAs.
NTFP-EP is part of the regional team that coordinates and facilitates learning exchanges and collaboration among partners within the network to support multi-level initiatives in Southeast Asia.
The strengthening of the network at the regional and country levels, with special focus on Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, is made possible through the project “ICCAs – from local to global” supported by IUCN NL GLA Programme (Green Livelihood Alliance – Forested Landscapes for Equity) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It started in October 2018 and concludes on July 31, 2020.
Through “ICCAs – from local to global”, a regional learning exchange on sustainable livelihoods within ICCAs was facilitated. The project also supports network building, strengthening and expansion in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Activities under the project include trainings on youth and ICCAs, basic mapping and documentation, validation and registration, workshops and various advocacy and awareness raising activities.
The Southeast Asia ICCA Regional Learning Network, as coordinated by NTFP-EP, is also supported by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation/ Svenska Naturskyddsföreningen (SSNC) project “Linking People and Forests” which provides foundational support for strategic planning, networking and network strengthening, communications and coordination, especially towards the on-going regionalization process of the consortium.