Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas Forum


> ICLS Program

“The orientation of Indigenous stewardship is a process that sustains community, culture and place; with the interconnection of all life as the guiding principle, caring for place and people, land and culture become inseparable.”
Indigenous peoples are the original stewards of wild nature and the world’s biocultural diversity. Their Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), wisdom and understanding of complex ecosystems have long supported abundant economies based on reciprocity, a balance between taking and giving. Though indigenous peoples total only 5% of the world’s population, they are currently the stewards of at least the same amount of wild nature as all regional and national governments and conservation organizations combined, holding traditional land claims for as much as 24%, or 36 million square kilometers, of the Earth’s surface. Moreover, Indigenous peoples inhabit more than 85% of the world’s protected areas, including many marine. These territories span most of the last remaining biodiversity rich wilderness areas and most of the major conservation priorities for this century. At the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju (2012), renowned conservation leader, the late Tui Macuata, declared that “more than 80% of protected areas in the Pacific are community managed.” Statistics like these are true throughout the world.

At WILD10, we will feature Indigenous and Community leaders, narratives, lifeways and conservation approaches through the Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas Forum, through plenary presentations, workshops, roundtable discussions and other media.

The Forum is designed to foster alliances between Indigenous Peoples and communities, allied organizations and nontraditional partners while promoting and facilitating intercultural, international dialogue on the advancement of a broad and inclusive vision for the future of conservation. This involves cooperation between many groups, including Indigenous Peoples, communities, industry, government, students, artists, activists and more. Long-term goals include increased leadership, inclusion and influence of Indigenous Peoples—and their worldviews—on wild nature conservation agendas, goals and outcomes.

Historically, “mainstream” nature conservation has developed with little regard to the needs, wisdom, or rights of Indigenous peoples, their traditional land claims, and the more subjective but very important interdependence of culture, people, place and prosperity. WILD understands the importance and timeliness of correcting this legacy. At WILD10, when we speak of wilderness, we mean both capital “W,” when such areas are defined by law, as well as lower case “w,” which includes all manner of biologically intact (as much as possible) wild lands and seascapes of varying land-use designations including Indigenous Protected Areas, Tribal Conservation Areas, Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAS), World Heritage Sites, and many more.

We are expecting representatives from a minimum of 20 countries spanning five continents, including Australia, Mongolia, the United States, Brazil, the Phillipines and India. Key focus areas include Governance, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Cultural Landscape Protection and Policies, Indigenous Worldviews, Lifeways and Spiritual Values Connected to Place.

Key partners include the Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas & Territories (ICCA) Consortium, the Gaia Foundation and the Coalition on Nature Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD).

*The call for abstracts for the Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas Forum is open until June 3.

Coalition on Nature Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD) Indigenous

The NSSD Coalition is a global network committed to Social HALF™, generating international guidelines, replicable models, and tools for development practices that protect wild nature while serving to meet human basic needs and prosperity.

Indigenous & Community Conserved Areas & Territories Consortium

The ICCA Consortium is an international association dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition of and support to ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories) in the regional, national and global arena. It is comprised of Members (Indigenous People Organisations (IPOs) and Community-based Organisations

(CBOs) and civil society organisations working with IPs/LCs) and Honorary members (individuals with relevant concerns and expertise relating to ICCAs). As a global institution, the Consortium is collaborating with the CBD Secretariat, GEF SGP, UNEP WCMC, IUCN, research and advocacy organisations, and UN mechanisms promoting human and IP and LC rights.

The Gaia Foundation

The Gaia Foundation, with many partners and allies, is committed to reviving and protecting cultural and biological diversity. Their mission is to regenerate healthy ecosystems, enhance traditional knowledge and practices for land, seed, food and water sovereignty, and to strengthen community self-governance. This enables communities to become more resilient to climate change and the industrial processes which have caused the many crises we now face.