Indigenous Peoples and native communities formalize a pan-African Alliance for Neighborhood Conservation on the first-ever Neighborhood-led Conservation Congress

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Greater than 300 representatives of Indigenous Peoples, native communities, governments, donors, and NGOs from 47 African international locations gathered final month in Namibia to collectively develop a method for community-led and people-centered conservation in Africa.

Members from 47 international locations shared their lived experiences, classes, and challenges round community-led conservation through the first-ever Neighborhood-led Conservation Congress held in Windhoek, Namibia on October 25-27, 2023.
Members mentioned the preliminary findings of a forthcoming examine on group conservation in Africa and devised a roadmap for a newly established Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Native Communities for Conservation in Africa (AICA).
The Congress offered an unprecedented house to debate Indigenous Peoples’ and native communities’ priorities and methods initiated on the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) in Rwanda in July 2022.

Following a historic convening in Namibia, the Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Native Communities for Conservation in Africa (AICA) has launched a communiqué that presents a unified name from Indigenous Peoples and native communities (IPs and LCs) in Africa for a people-centered rights-based conservation agenda. Learn the communiqué right here (

The convening was the primary Indigenous Peoples’ and Native Communities’ Conservation Congress, co-hosted by AICA and Rights and Sources Initiative (RRI) in collaboration with Southern Africa’s Neighborhood Leaders Community (CLN); the Indigenous Motion for Peace Development and Battle Transformation (IMPACT); and the Namibian Affiliation of Neighborhood Based mostly Pure Useful resource Administration Assist Organizations (NACSO).

The previous Prime Minister of Ethiopia and APAC Patron, H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn  mentioned on the occasion’s opening: Having taken the time to learn by way of the impeccable IP and LC declaration at APAC and the latest technique that you simply all performed a component in placing collectively, I’m reminded of the immense energy custodians of our land maintain in leapfrogging us to the subsequent stage and redefining what sustainable growth means for Africa.”

Hon. Royal Johan Kxao IUiloloo, Deputy Minister for Marginalized Communities of Namibia, mentioned: “We must always apply session, participation, and illustration to each conservation coverage, as a result of nothing about us with out us. The rights of Indigenous Peoples and native communities should be protected, celebrated, and revered.”

On the Congress, members made clear that throughout Africa, IPs and LCs—and particularly the ladies and youth inside these teams—have by no means been higher positioned, organized, and coordinated to uphold and notice their land and livelihood rights.

Jose Monteiro, Government Director of ReGeCom, Mozambique, mentioned: “This gathering was an indication that communities in Africa are on this collectively and dealing in the direction of talking with one voice… We have to construct an establishment that isn’t elite captured however constructed from the underside up, and that’s AICA.”

The occasion was additionally presided by the Deputy Minister of Setting Forestry and Tourism of Namibia, Hon. Heather Sibungo and the Ethiopia’s State Minister for Irrigation and Lowlands, Dr. Endrias Geta.

Malidadi Langa, who represents Malawi in CLN and is the interim Chair of AICA, referred to as the Congress a celebration of community-based conservation. “As IPs and LCs, we’ve each motive to rejoice community-based conservation as a result of from time immemorial, we’ve successfully conserved forests, ecosystems, and biodiversity by way of collective possession, conventional governance, and ecological data techniques which proceed to at the present time,” he mentioned.

Langa urged African governments to alter the dominant conservation narrative by as a substitute placing individuals on the middle alongside nature.

“The neo-colonial fortress mannequin of conservation has been perpetuated and underwritten by externally-driven conservation funding fashions, narratives, and agendas. I name on our governments to alter the narrative of conservation and pure useful resource sovereignty and put individuals on the middle of conservation,” Langa mentioned.

Along with participation by IPs and LCs from 43 international locations, the Congress was additionally attended by policymakers and representatives of regional and worldwide conservation organizations, together with the IUCN; the African Wildlife Basis; the Christensen Fund; the German Growth Cooperation (GIZ); Nature Finance; the Packard Basis; Conservation Worldwide (CI); Arcus Basis; Rainforest Belief; World Inexperienced Grants; and Miserior.

“We imagine that land is a vital entry level for human rights and the atmosphere. That’s the reason, since 2018, we’ve readjusted our mission and imaginative and prescient to help IPs and LCs,” mentioned Dr. Hassan Roba from Christensen Fund. “Now we have 4 packages that help African land rights. For us, conservation is a few holistic connection, a territorial integrity that helps individuals’s land rights, atmosphere, and tradition.”

Patrick Kipalu, RRI’s Africa Program Director, mentioned: “We’re making an attempt to show the Kigali Name to Motion into actuality… IPs and LCs themselves organized this Congress, set the agenda, and led the discussions. It was an area the place decision-makers, NGOs, donors, conservation organizations, and communities got here collectively to search out widespread options.”

He added: “We need to work along with governments and policymakers to stop communities from experiencing the identical injustices and human rights violations of the previous.”

This system closed with an handle by Hon. IUiloloo, who concluded: “Indigenous Peoples and native communities near conservation areas are among the many poorest individuals. I say that it will depend on our respective international locations to alter this actuality. We, as the federal government, are listening to you, and we want your help and experience on this path.”

What’s Subsequent?

To advance rights-based approaches to conservation on the continent, RRI will publish a examine in 2024 on community-led and rights-based conservation approaches in Africa. The examine’s preliminary outcomes display that safe tenure for communities is essential to community-based conservation practices in Africa and ought to be sought the place degradation is tied to a scarcity of native possession. Nonetheless, authorized rights recognition should even be accompanied by efficient implementation to be actually efficient.

As a subsequent step, AICA and its companions will start to determine a mechanism to implement the outcomes of the Congress on the nationwide and regional stage and supply up to date information to tell present and future conservation discussions. This continental Neighborhood Conservation Congress will proceed to be held each three years, with the subsequent one happening within the Central African area. It is going to additionally function AICA’s engagement discussion board for future IUCN worldwide conferences round protected areas.

Learn the ultimate communiqué ( and each day summaries from the Congress right here (

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rights and Sources Initiative (RRI).

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Media contact:
Daiana González Navas
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About Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Native Communities for Conservation in Africa (AICA):
The Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Native Communities for Conservation in Africa (AICA) is an unbiased Indigenous- and native community-led and centered Pan-African alliance that harnesses and amplifies the collective voice these communities have and to prioritize their engagement in all coverage arenas related to their land and land-based assets, territories, and conservation. AICA is built-in by 18 community-led networks of Indigenous Peoples and native communities from over 43 African international locations*. The Alliance additionally receives technical help from greater than 10 worldwide organizations together with RRI. For extra data, please go to

About Rights and Sources Initiative (RRI):
The Rights and Sources Initiative (RRI) is a world coalition of 21 Companions and greater than 150 rightsholders organizations and their allies devoted to advancing the forestland and useful resource rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant Peoples, native communities, and the ladies inside these teams. RRI’s members capitalize on one another’s strengths, experience, and geographic attain to realize options extra successfully and effectively. It leverages the ability of its international coalition to amplify the voices of native peoples and proactively interact governments, multilateral establishments, and personal sector actors to undertake institutional and market reforms that help the belief of their rights and self-determined growth.  RRI is coordinated by the Rights and Sources Group, a non-profit group primarily based in Washington, D.C. For extra data, please go to  

* Among the present networks that combine AICA are:  The Community of Indigenous and Native Populations for the Sustainable Administration of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), The Neighborhood Leaders Community (CLN), Pastoralist Discussion board of Ethiopia, Japanese&Southern Africa Pastoralist Community, AYBN, The Pastoralists Indigenous Non-Governmental Group’s Discussion board (PINGO’s Discussion board), Hunter – Gatherers Discussion board (HUGAFO), The Pastoralists Alliance for Resilience and Adaptation in Northern Rangelands (PARAN), IWO, The Indigenous Peoples’ Nationwide Steering Committee on Local weather Change (IPNSCCC), African CSCs Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA), The Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), Tanzania Useful resource Discussion board (TRF),  Forest watch of Ghana, African Biodiversity Community (ABN), Neighborhood Forest Conservation Community (CFCN),  Pan African Local weather Justice Alliance (PACJA) and ICCA Consortium. 


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