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Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas

  • By: Ashish Kothari
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) are natural and/or modified ecosystems containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services, and cultural values. ICCAs are voluntarily conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (both sedentary and mobile), through customary laws or other effective means. This term has been used for convenience and incorporates a wide range of phrases used to denote such sites, including biocultural heritage sites, indigenous protected areas, and locally managed marine areas, among others. The term is not meant to show disrespect to the legitimate demands of many indigenous populations to be called “peoples” instead of “communities” and to recognize their homelands as “territories” instead of “areas.” ICCAs are relatively new in conservation and environmental circles, having originated from work done on community-initiated conservation ...

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