The year 2015 marks a major event for the Consortium: the coming to fruition of the Global ICCA Support Initiative (GSI for short) —an objective we consciously pursued since our establishment and that filled us with enthusiasm and pride. And yet, the slow and uneven pace of the initiative managed to tax the patience of everyone involved. The initiative was to begin originally in January 2014, then July 2014, then January 2015… The Consortium carried out expected activities throughout 2014 without any financial support from UNDP / UNOPS (we fundraised otherwise) but was more than ready to start normal activities in January 2015. We went to the point of organising an inception event to mark the beginning of GSI… but a variety of issues and the coincident beginning of the UNDP GEF SGP Operational Program 6 (OP6) resulted in us signing the work agreement with UNOPS only in late June 2015 (for a retroactive beginning in January). We wish to be upfront about this as an underling condition to the work for six out of the twelve months of 2015, which actually “linked” to another external challenge: the fact that we had to fit the OP6 agenda and priorities, which in several cases seemed to adjust with difficulty to the “territorial” perspective brought about by GSI.
Despite less than ideal conditions, we managed to make some impressive strides and geared up for all the GSI work to come. We developed the methodology and work plan for the regional ICCA initiatives, which we successfully employed in Indonesia, Madagascar and Ecuador, as well as the broad Terms of Reference for the national strategic/ catalytic work in support of ICCAs. We offered ICCA experience, analyses and dedicated training in regional and international events. We expanded national activities in several countries. We provided technical assistance to UNEP WCMC and IUCN. We produced three films and various reports. And we opened up two entirely new lines of work. The first one is on ICCAs and land rights—for which we affiliated with ILC, took part in international discussions and developed the Consortium Policy Brief no.2. The second one is on solidarity with the defenders of the commons and ICCAs—for which we commissioned several region-specific analyses, developed dedicated gatherings and press releases, and developed a partnership with several other organisations that is bearing fruits in 2016.