In 2003, Conservation International (CI) created the Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program (ITPP) to strengthen our commitments to indigenous and traditional peoples and support the vital role of their territories in conservation landscapes. More than 250,000 square kilometers of critically diverse areas coincide with indigenous lands in the world’s hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas where CI works. Following an initial focus in Latin America’s Andes region, ITPP is now expanding its support in response to a global indigenous call for collaborative conservation action.
ITPP works directly with CI programs and partners, local leaders, communities, conservationists and other critical players in building a common agenda for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. The program’s activities strengthen the collaboration of these groups and expand the abilities of local communities to effectively manage their lands and resources while also maintaining their livelihoods and their natural and cultural patrimony.
ITPP’s core objectives include:
- Funding the participation of indigenous representatives in global forums
- Building a common conservation agenda through open dialogues between indigenous and traditional peoples, CI and our conservation partners, and other key actors
- Supporting and facilitating national and international community-to-community learning exchanges
- Creating a fellowship program for indigenous leaders
- Promoting values and principle-driven approaches to engaging communities in conservation action