Held in Durban, South Africa, from 8-17 September 2003, IUCN’s 5th World Parks Congress was a watershed moment for ICCAs and for indigenous peoples and local communities more generally in international conservation policy, particularly due to its recognition that respecting human rights would advance, not diminish, conservation outcomes. It also articulated a ‘new paradigm’ for protected areas that integrates conservation goals with sustainable development in an equitable way and, for the first time, systematised the concept of ‘governance’ of protected areas. Principles of the new paradigm include recognition of protected area governance by indigenous peoples and local communities, respect for indigenous peoples’ knowledge and contributions to conservation globally, and respect for human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights. Rooted in previous years’ work on equity in conservation, this new paradigm had become an imperative that could no longer be ignored and was a necessary change to align the conservation sector with prevailing social, political, economic and scientific conditions. The Congress’s main policy outcomes of relevance to ICCAs were the Durban Accord, Durban Action Plan, several Recommendations, and a message to the CBD.
Extensive references to Community Conserved Areas in the outcomes of the 5th World Parks Congress set the stage for the next phase of recognition of ICCAs by the 7th Conference of the Parties the CBD (CBD COP 7) in Kuala Lumpur in 2004.