UNDP and German BMUV renew collaboration to support Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at COP15

December 28, 2022
Ramoma Pierre_sacred forest_Madagasar

Achieving effective protection and conservation on at least thirty percent of the planet by 2030 is a critical step toward achieving the CBD’s 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature


On the occasion of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) announced renewed collaboration to support Indigenous Peoples and Local communities in line with the recently adopted Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

As part of the GBF negotiations, consensus has emerged that achieving effective protection and conservation on at least 30% of the planet by 2030 is a critical step toward achieving the CBD’s 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature.

Multiple scientific studies, including the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2019), have established that Indigenous and community-governed territories often effectively retain high biodiversity conservation values (Schuster et al. 2019).

The Global Support Initiative to territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (ICCA-GSI) was first launched in 2014 as a multi-partnership initiative funded by the BMUV and delivered through the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).

Key global partners include the ICCA Consortium, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), CBD Secretariat, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Phase 1 of the initiative (12M EUR) was launched at CBD COP12 to expand the diversity and quality of governance types of protected and conserved areas (PCAs), whilst also enhancing human well-being. In 2020, the initiative was extended (15M EUR) to support Indigenous Peoples and local communities to cope with and recover from the socio-economic impacts driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During COP15, a series of events presented eight years of implementation of the ICCA GSI in supporting and recognizing the crucial role of ICCAs in contributing to the CBD Aichi Targets.

During Phase 1 of the ICCA GSI, 644 small grants projects have been implemented in 45 countries benefiting over 235,000 Indigenous Peoples and local communities (51% women and 49% men), positively influencing over 4.2 million hectares of landscapes and seascapes.

UNDP launched a new publication to present the consolidated results achieved from 2014-2022. The publication illustrates the work of the collaboration towards: (i) direct financial support to locally-led action on ICCA self-strengthening, biodiversity conservation, and community empowerment in 45 countries; (ii) legal, policy and other forms of appropriate recognition and support; and (iii) knowledge production and exchange between civil society initiatives and networks at regional and global levels.

Holly Jonas, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium, observed that “there has never been more public and political support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities during COP15. This must now be translated into tangible action in support of territories of life as attention shifts to financing and implementation of the GBF.”

As part of the GSI collaboration, UNEP-WCMC also launched a new digital mapping app called ‘Mapeo for ICCAs’ developed in partnership with Digital Democracy and the Forest Peoples Programme. The app has been designed specifically for the mapping of ICCAs without recourse to the internet, following a beta-testing phase in the Amazon and other remote areas.

During the COP15high-level segment, the State Secretary of the BMUV, Mr. Stefan Tidow, announced additional funding of 22M EUR for the ICCA-GSI in line with the post-2020 GBF’s Target 3 (protected and conserved areas) and Target 21 (on decision-making and governance) in 50 countries.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated that “Germany has played a pivotal role during COP15 with the launch of the NBSAP Accelerator Initiative, as well as in the renewed pledge of financial support to non-state actors as part of the ICCA GSI and the match-making facility, which bodes well to rapidly initiate the implementation of the GBF”.