There have been many publications on Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA) around the world, but none particular to the Southeast Asia region, where various ICCA initiatives have been thriving for over a decade. These initiatives have sprung from several entities at all levels – from communities to Indigenous Peoples’ organizations to non-government organizations and various loose and organized local and global networks as well as key individuals who have all come together to push for Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights to self-determination and governance over their lands and waters.
This publication documents some ICCAs in Southeast Asia, where a breadth of experiences and examples can be modeled and learned by others. It compiles several stories of Indigenous Peoples documenting, defending and sustaining their lands and resources. Territories of Life in Southeast Asia are so many and so diverse, and the cases presented in these chapters are only a handful of examples from the region. This also only covers the countries in Southeast Asia where ICCA Consortium members and partners are active, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It also includes a story from Cambodia, where Indigenous organizations are active and have signified interest to join the movement.
This compilation is a celebration of all the efforts of caring for and protecting Territories of Life against all odds. Not all the stories have a happy ending; in fact, many communities are still in the midst of their struggles for their land, for peace, for life. This work identifies the gaps and recommendations by communities and the organizations that support them for an enabling environment for ICCAs to thrive, to ensure sustainability for life on Earth.