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New information on Protected Planet for local communities and indigenous peoples

05 August 2015

Protected Planet is changing. As part of the ICCA (indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas) Global Support Initiative, UNEP-WCMC is expanding the Protected Planet databases so that they can accurately represent protected areas where the people making the decisions are local communities and/or indigenous peoples.

These types of protected areas have historically been underrepresented in Protected Planet. In order to address this, we are engaging non-governmental organizations and others who work closely with indigenous peoples and local communities. By engaging these groups, we hope to gather data from the ground up, from communities who have consented to their data being included in the Protected Planet.

The project is one aspect of a larger initiative to provide support at multiple levels to ICCAs. In partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the ICCA Consortium, the initiative is harnessing the momentum of recent international meetings at which ICCAs have been at the forefront of a new vision for the future of conservation.

This is important because ICCAs all over the world are denied recognition for their contributions to conservation, despite their potential to fill many of the gaps left by formal protected areas. Documenting ICCAs in Protected Planet contributes to the dual aims of providing ICCAs with appropriate recognition and clarifying progress towards international biodiversity targets. In particular, Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 requires 17 per cent of the world’s land area and 10 per cent of its sea to be protected by 2020. Measuring progress towards this target demands an understanding of all types of protected areas.

A new resource, available here, provides a brief overview of the information that is required from indigenous peoples and local communities who wish to submit data to Protected Planet. It is intended to be used by communities, and the groups that work with them, to facilitate discussions on whether providing data to Protected Planet is right for them.

For more information, or to provide data, please contact heather.bingham@unep-wcmc.org.