The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) recognizes the crucial contributions of Indigenous peoples and local communities in conserving biodiversity through their governance systems, values, knowledge, innovations, practice and worldviews. Ensuring protected and conserved area (PCA) systems recognize, respect and support territories and areas conserved by and with Indigenous peoples and local communities is crucial for equity and effectiveness. Area-based conservation should not be used as an excuse to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their territories but rather promote and restore traditional values and practices that support biodiversity and ecosystem services and contribute to sustainable livelihoods.
Target 3 calls for effective conservation through, among other elements, “recognising indigenous and traditional territories, where applicable.” The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and meetings of the IPLC Caucus identified the inclusion of this phrase as crucial for Target 3 during negotiations. (IIFB has been recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as a representative body in the deliberations since 1996.) The IIFB position is that “recognizing indigenous and traditional territories” in Target 3 provides a distinct pathway to conservation in addition to protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), so not subsumed to protected areas and OECMs. The CBD Secretariat has posed an interpretation as “This target calls for the expansion and enhancement of protected and conserved areas, (i.e. areas that are managed with the aim of achieving positive outcomes for biodiversity). The target indicates three approaches that may be employed to achieve this aim”: and lists protected areas, OECMs and Indigenous and traditional territories.