The Working Group on Law and Policy aims to assist the ICCA Consortium achieve its mission (namely: promoting appropriate recognition of, and support for, ICCAs) through four interlinked strategies:

  1. The adoption and continual improvement of supportive laws and policies;
  2. Effective implementation of existing supportive laws and policies;
  3. Reform of unsupportive and unjust laws and policies; and
  4. Redress for past and ongoing damage and violations.

It pursues these strategies through the following areas of law and policy:

  1. Governance for the conservation of nature  (e.g. securing legislation – concerning protected or conserved areas, biodiversity, forestry, fisheries, rivers or otherwise – that fully recognises and supports ICCAs)
  2. Biodiversity law and conservation policy (e.g. supporting the traditional knowledge and skills of ICCA custodians and recognising the contributions of their collective actions to biodiversity conservation)
  3. Territorial integrity and community wellbeing (e.g. securing collective rights to land and water, local food sovereignty systems, and community alternatives to mainstream development paradigms)
  4. Indigenous peoples’ rights and human rights (e.g. promoting ICCAs in the context of different rights frameworks such as the rights to self-governance, food and water, and by promoting recognition of the rights and responsibilities of non-indigenous local communities in their customary territories and areas)
  5. Private sector standards and safeguards (e.g. ensuring FPIC, transparency and accountability in all private sector activities that may affect ICCAs and their custodians, and protecting environmental and human rights defenders)
  6. Global environmental change  (e.g. promoting the role of traditional knowledge systems in climate change monitoring and adaptation, and recognizing ICCAs as territory-based sites of restoration and disaster-risk reduction)

In each area, the Working Group is developing a strategy and workplan for engaging in relevant international, regional, and/or (sub-)national legal and policy processes. Activities range from producing policy briefs and written submissions, and delivering statements in intergovernmental fora, to organising side events and collaborating with other campaigns and movements.

The ICCA Consortium’s International Policy Coordinator coordinates the Working Group. Please consult the Coordinator if you would like to get involved or for further information.

This page will be updated over time with latest developments.


Since well before the ICCA Consortium’s formal establishment in 2010, its members have been actively engaged in international law and policy, with particular emphasis on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Many other areas of law and policy are also relevant to ICCAs (and vice versa), including human rights, food and agriculture, land tenure, climate change, sustainable development, and the financial and private sectors. At a meeting in July 2014 in Gland, it was agreed that the ICCA Consortium should establish a working group on law and policy to build a more integrated and scaled approach to promoting and securing rights for ICCAs in various international processes. The Working Group on Law and Policy was established in 2015 and currently has more than 35 members.

First published on 05/11/2016, and last updated on 11/06/2017