Indigenous and community conserved areas

Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs): natural and/or modified ecosystems containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services and cultural values, voluntarily conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities, both sedentary and mobile, through customary laws or other effective means (IUCN 2010).

 Indigenous and community conserved areas
Indigenous and community conserved areas may serve as important buffer to critical conservation area of international status – in this case Maragang Hill Reserve for Kinabalu Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Indigenous and community conserved areas as wildlife sanctuaries

It is one of our visions that more community-owned ecosystems can be conserved through synergistic collaboration, started with our founder‘s mission of enhancing community initiatives for conservation with science. These places, despite being smaller and/or more fragmented compared with governmental conservation areas, may still harbour some important species and require even more attention because of their socio-economic and ownership situation.

We are currently working with the following communities, and welcome you to visit and support:

Some of the reasons why we are doing this:

A Bornean sun bear (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus) and a critically-endangered Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) captured on camera in a small, fragmented native reserve, somewhere in Borneo.
conservation of highly endemic species
This new Begonia species discovered in a community catchment in Borneo, and found nowhere else on Earth, highlights the importance of small protection areas in the conservation of such highly-endemic plant species.

Don’t worry, and don’t bother to ask, we won’t disclose the exact location of all sightings of iconic/ rare/ endangered species we observed, until the place is protected, and unless you are contributing towards that goal 🙂

The choice is pretty obvious:

Indigenous and community conserved areas
Indigenous and community conserved areas help conserve ecosystems and biodiversity, and provide sustainable economy to local communities – definitely a better alternative than being sold for quick bucks to logging or monoculture operations.

(All photos and edit by Khoo M.S. unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.)

More on the definitions:

Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs), or indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas, are spaces de facto governed by indigenous peoples or local communities with evidently positive outcomes for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. In ICCAs, the continuation, revival or modification of traditional practices (some of which are of ancient origin) and/or new initiatives succeed in protecting and restoring natural resources and cultural values in the face of new threats or opportunities. Some ICCAs are situated in remote ecosystems that have had minimum human influence, while others encompass areas of various regulations and magnitudes within regions strongly affected or modified by human occupation. ICCAs may or may not fit the IUCN definition of “protected area” but, when they do, they can fall into any IUCN protected area categories.

The following three characteristics are used to identify an ICCA:
  • A strong relationship exists between an indigenous people or local community, and a specific site (territory, ecosystem, species habitat). This relationship is often embedded in the people’s or community’s sense of identity and/or dependence for livelihood and well being.
  • The indigenous people or local community is the major player in decision-making and implementation regarding the management of the site, implying that a local institution has the capacity to develop and enforce decisions (other stakeholders may collaborate as partners, especially when the land is owned by the state, but de facto decisions and management efforts are predominantly taken by the concerned people or community).
  • The people’s or community’s management decisions and efforts lead to the conservation of habitats, species, genetic diversity, ecological functions/ benefits and associated cultural values, even when the conscious objective of management is not conservation (i.e., it may be livelihoods, security, safeguarding cultural and spiritual values, etc.).

Source: Wikipedia 2020-05-20

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