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International conservation and targets

ICCAs make significant contributions to conservation, and they are an important part of the global conservation network.

ICCAs therefore have the potential to affect progress towards internationally adopted conservation goals, such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. In particular, Aichi Target 11 calls for a global conservation network covering 17% of the land and 10% of the sea by 2020. Crucially, this network must also be effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected. ICCAs have the potential to contribute to every aspect of this target, including by bridging gaps between formal protected areas and conserving the species, habitats, and ecological processes that fall outside them.

In addition to biodiversity, ICCAs also conserve traditional ecological knowledge, languages and cultures that are intricately linked to biodiversity conservation. These functions are particularly relevant to Aichi Target 18, which calls for traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities to be respected and integrated into conservation strategies.

ICCAs have been conserving biodiversity for centuries, but recognition of their efforts by the international community lags far behind that of more formally governed protected areas. ICCAs can help the world to meet and build upon its biodiversity targets and aspirations, but in order to do so they require the appropriate recognition and support of their national governments and the wider world.

Self-recognition and knowledge-sharing between communities is an important step towards this broader recognition. The ICCA Registry provides indigenous peoples and communities with a platform that supports this.

Protected Planet is used to measure progress towards Aichi Target 11.