Enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ efforts to steward land, waters, and natural resources to deliver Global Environmental Benefits

A eagle eye view with a boat in fresh water body. People in the boat are looking up with a peace sign.


The GEF-7 Inclusive Conservation Initiative (ICI) works in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPs and LCs) in their continuing efforts to safeguard Earth’s natural ecosystems, recognizing the historical roles they have played in nature conservation. ICI works inclusively with IPs and LCs, their regional and local organizations, governments, NGOs, civil society, and others to further strengthen their capacity to conserve globally significant biodiversity and ecosystems.

Inclusive Conservation Initiative (ICI) Phase One Report


ICI provides site-based investments in 9 geographies to prioritize Indigenous and local community organizations to take the lead in carrying out inclusive, culturally appropriate processes for decision-making and strategy development that they have defined, implementing activities within their respective territories, landscapes and/or seascapes. The ICI Indigenous-led initiatives will generate a range of governance, tenure, sociocultural, and livelihoods benefits.

Image focuses on 3 people standing in a group, with people holding flags behind them.

Futa Mawiza Biocultural Territory

In the Andean Cordillera, in the Futa Mawiza biocultural territory, an alliance of organizations dedicates its work to safeguarding the governance of the territory through a process of self-strengthening based on the Mapuche cosmovision, knowledge and traditional practices for the full exercise of Indigenous collective rights through two initiatives in Argentina and Chile.

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Southwest Amazon

In the Madre de Dios River basin in Peru, an ancestral tropical forest territory home to several Indigenous communities, the Native Federation of Madre de Dios River and tributaries (FENAMAD) advocates to legitimately represent and defend the collective will of all Indigenous Peoples of Madre de Dios, including those living in isolation and initial contact.

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Ru K’ux Abya Yala

In Guatemala and Panama, a consortium of Indigenous organizations led by Sotz’il is working to foster the Indigenous use, management, and conservation of natural resources and to promote the Utz K'aslemal (el buen vivir – living in harmony) as a model of Indigenous life.

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Annapurna Area

In Nepal, a key ecological hotspot where Indigenous Peoples have lived since time immemorial, the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) advocates for the protection of Indigenous rights in the context of climate change.

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Group of people digging water in a dry land.

Ewaso Ng’iro River Basin

The Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) in the Kenyan rangelands supports Indigenous Peoples in securing recognition and inclusion.

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The Thai consortium of organizations convened by the Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (IPF) works to promote Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including education, self-determined development, customary land use, and natural resource management.

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Deep sea diver touching protective steel net under the ocean.

Fiji Lau Seascape and Cook Islands

The Bose Vanua o Lau in Fiji and the House of Ariki  in the Cook Islands work together through ICI to advance Indigenous Peoples’ goals for sustainable resource use and management by strengthening coastal and offshore marine protected areas management, the restoration of degraded and terrestrial protected areas,  and their resilience to climate change through the revitalization of traditional farming skills and knowledge.

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Northern Tanzania

Working through ICI in a globally significant ecological system of rangelands extending south and east of the greater Serengeti-Ngorongoro that supports a rich diversity of wildlife and people, the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) aims to improve the lives of pastoralist, agro-pastoralist, and hunter-gatherer communities by empowering them to sustainably manage and benefit from the natural resources on which their livelihoods depend.

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DR Congo

Alliance Nationale d'Appui et de Promotion des Aires et territoires conservés par les Peuples Autochtones et Communautés locales en République Démocratique du Congo (ANAPAC), a network of communities and grassroots organizations, is committed to strengthening, enhancing, and securing the areas and territories conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

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Global Policy

Amplifying IPs' and LCs' voices and contributions to environmental policy formation is essential to assure that diverse perspectives of those who both experience the harshest consequences of environmental degradation and hold the best knowledge to address them are supported to self-determine solutions. It is crucial to ensure Indigenous women and youth have access to capacity building and support to engage in environmental policy discourse and influence.

Global Policy
United Nations Climate Change event location.

Indigenous Leads

The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund partner logo
Anapac RDC partner logo
Fundacion Ambiente Y Recursos Naturales partner logo
FENAMAD partner logo
Indigenafundacion Para La Promocion Del Conocimiento partner logo
Fundalachua logo
Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement & Conflict Transformation partner logo
Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association partner logo
IPF partner logo
Indigenous Peoples' Foundation for Education and Environment Logo
Koyagtun Koz-Koz Mapu
Confederacion Mapuce Logo
Observatorio Ciudadano logo
ODHPI logo
Pgakenyaw Association for Sustainable Development
Sotz'il logo
Tikonel Logo
Ujamaa Community Resource Team
Walung Mercados de Kurarewe Logo
Wisdom of Ethnic Foundation

IPLC Brief_English_

In 2022, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), committing to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The GBF recognizes the vital role, contributions, and rights of IPLCs in the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of biodiversity.

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