Conserving nature and culture, promoting sustainable livelihoods and ensuring community land rights and responsibilities for ICCAs in West and Central Asia
Location: Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan
In June 2017, Cenesta, the ICCA Consortium, UNDP/SGP/GSI and Green Line Eco co-sponsored the “Conserving nature and culture, promoting sustainable livelihoods and ensuring community land rights and responsibilities for ICCAs in West and Central Asia” event held by the Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan. Prior to the event, many meeting were organised between the co-sponsors and the SGP office in Tehran.
The multi-stakeholder workshops included participants from CSOs, government and IPs/LCs from the following countries:
The outputs of the event included:
- Shared understanding of ICCAs as territorial units—land, water and natural resources—essential for community livelihoods and identity and governed de facto (and possibly de jure) by their concerned communities as spaces of sustainable livelihoods and integration of various “sectors” (forests, water, wildlife, agriculture, animal husbandry, marine and coastal…).
- Shared understanding of the main ICCA types and characteristics in Central and West Asia, the conditions (scale/ size, safeguards, threats and opportunities) they face and a range of appropriate responses to such conditions at different levels.
- Shared understanding of ICCAs as a form of governance for protected areas as well as conserved areas (cf CBD’s “other effective area-based conservation measures”—OECMs) relevant to fulfilling national obligations for the Convention on Biological Diversity (e.g., Aichi Targets 11, 14 and 18).
- Shared understanding of the GSI initiative and, as part of that, of the support that UNDP GEF SGP, the ICCA Consortium, IUCN and UNEP WCMC are providing for ICCAs to fulfil their role— including support to national strategic backing, technical advice, and procedures for proper national validation of ICCAs and submission to the ICCA Registry at UNEP WCMC.
- Building upon the experience of the ICCA Consortium Members in the region, strengthened capacities, motivation and mutual advice in promoting the recognition and support to ICCAs, in particular via national ICCA networks/ coalitions/ federations/ working groups (as appropriate), that can:
- Promote community self-awareness of the multiple values of their ICCAs;
- Promote community analysis, monitoring and evaluation of their ICCA work, with an emphasis on governance quality and vitality;
- Enhance ICCA communication via exchange visits, radio programmes, social media, photo stories and videos run by the ICCA communities themselves;
- Foster in-depth analyses, planning and advocacy to meet specific legal, political and other types of needs.
- Motivation, ideas, mutual advice and specific plans to further appropriate ICCA recognition and support at national level and—as appropriate—to support regional ICCA learning and action in Central and West Asia.
During this event Cenesta presented various learnings and experiences of ICCAs in Iran including the IUCN workshops on Governance Assessment of Protected and Conserved Areas in Iran and the Workshop on Transboundary Conservation in Iran and Neighbouring Countries as well PGIS learnings, ICCA situation, EBSAs, NBSAP-II preparation and activities in pasture governance and restoration.
Cenesta team presenting ICCA related experiences:
Regional groups were organised and each group prepared a speaking map of ICCAs status in their country, strategies for appropriate ICCA recognition, action plan, roadmap and timeline of implementation. The Iran and Armenia group composed of the Cenesta team, representative from the FRWO, nomadic IP/LC representatives, Hormod CSO representative and the UN Small Grants Programme coordinator from Iran.
Through Cenesta’s recommendation, Mr Ruben Khachatryan, Director and Founder of Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) from Armenia, actively participated in the event. A series of meetings were arranged with Ruben to carryout follow-up activities related to the IUCN project on transboundary conservation. An outline for further cooperation with FPWC was agreed upon and will be elaborated and implemented during the sixth semester of the Action.