Priority Areas

We are shaping Africa's land and resource policies in order to safeguard Africa's consistently marginalized IPLCs


Establishment and operationalization of Pan-African IPLC body

IPLCs in Africa set out to create an independent, IPLC-led and centered Pan- African body to:

Advocacy, Campaigns and Strategic engagement

Indigenous People and Local Communities play a crucial role in conservation. However, most conservation initiatives have adopted strategies that prioritize the inviolable integrity of ‘protected’ areas at the expense of IPLCs who have been consistently marginalized. The 2003 Durban Accord paradigm recognizes the importance of just and inclusive conservation contributions of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, and calls for incorporation of their rights, values, aspirations and support for community conservation areas. Unlocking this potential requires not only including IPLC voices in conservation but also recognizing that they have the right to decide how to manage their natural resources and land- as well as when, how and if to involve others.

As IPLCs seek to correct narratives on IPLCs and conservation through documenting lived experiences of IPLCs in conserving nature; documenting of traditional/indigenous conservation knowledge and practices while mapping out organizations/institutions working on conservation in IPLC territories in Africa. This will allow IPLC’s to proactively engage to ensure inclusive and just conservation is actually realized and not just promised. In addition, IPLCs favor conservation approaches that align with their livelihood systems and broader self-determination goals.


Putting People at the Centre of Conservation

Across the continent, IPLCs are stewards of natural resources, yet continue to face the negative impacts of conservation initiatives by third parties, which often are based on the concept of protecting natural resources and biological diversity, while excluding IPLCs within their discourse. This exclusion has exacerbated violence; militarization and human rights abuses, poaching, cattle rustling; natural resource conflicts in relation to access to water, pasture and land tenure; proliferation of small arms; gender inequality; political corruption and marginalization of IPLCs in terms of access to services. In acknowledging that conservation models that exclude people have failed worldwide, the Alliance will work to put ordinary IPLCs at the center of the conservation agenda at all levels.

IPLCs will endeavor to challenge the neo-colonial fortress conservation model  and advocate for full ownership and tenure rights for community conserved areas, and strong co-management schemes for PAs surrounded by IPLC communities; advocate for Human-Wildlife Conflict(HWC) mitigation measures including compensation; calling on African governments to take back control of the conservation narrative –policy and funding, including re-indigenizing funding; empowering IPLCs as equal partners in conservation with entitlements to rights and obligations; and challenging militarization of conservation and human rights abuses.


Promoting Inclusive governance and Mobilizing the Economic Value of conserved areas for IPLCs

IPLCs have been the custodians of wildlife and ecosystems for centuries. However, this has too often been downplayed by governments, private corporations, and big international conservation NGOs that continuously force IPLCs off their land. This has resulted to a scenario where IPLCs are neither involved with the management of parks and other conserved areas, nor having access to the resources they previously relied on. Despite this, positive relations between biodiversity and IPLCs’ livelihoods have existed over the long term, and a picture of a harmonious co-existence has emerged in many areas, despite growing challenges (ILRI 2006).

There is consensus on the need to acknowledge, respect, recognize and support the rights and identity of customary governance authorities and resource holders, including women, youth and vulnerable people, and the systems and customary laws they use to sustain resources, and to promote legitimacy, transparency and accountability in decision-making.

Additionally, there is the need for fair and equitable sharing of costs and benefits accruing from protected and conserved areas. Inclusive governance must also include effective grievance redress mechanisms, and meaningful, effective, inter-generational and gender-responsive participation of IPLCs in all processes that relate to their lands and land-based resources.