Through enhanced self-awareness and analysis, and/or as a result of communication and connections with others, a custodian community may have a clear sense of its vision for the ICCA and of the objectives it needs to meet for that to be realised. For instance, it may need to stop a mining industry from entering the ICCA, so it may need to enhance its own surveillance operations or obtain greater tenure security. As part of one or more grassroots discussions, goals could be explored and, analysed, and a strategy could be planned to achieve them. In most cases, communities wish to obtain security of tenure and clear collective rights and responsibilities to govern and manage their territory. They wish their governance institutions and rules to be properly recognized and respected and to prevent damaging conflicts. How they go about achieving all those things is very much dependent on their capacities and the context at stake.

Once the initiative to move forward as an ICCA is made clear by the custodian community (or group of custodian communities), the community may determine that it can implement its decision without external support. Autonomous community care and strengthening of ICCAs has long been the norm and remains the best way to promote self-reliance and independence for the community. If the initiative requires support from outside, other communities should be sought first, for mutual solidarity and support. At times, project proposal will also be developed to articulate the community’s needs. This should be done with great care, and should remain coherent with the overall community self-strengthening process.

Read more in the publication: ICCA Self-Strengthening ICCAs – Guidance on a process and resources for custodian indigenous peoples and local communities, Module 4.

First published on 04/29/2017, and last updated on 11/06/2017