We are thrilled to share with you Mapeo for ICCAs – a new mapping app co-developed by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Forest Peoples Programme, and Digital Democracy to help Indigenous peoples and local communities map the territories and areas they are conserving, on their own terms.
The official launch will be today December 14th at the CBD COP15 side event #4793 at 13h15 ET time.
What are ICCAs? At least 21% of the world’s land is covered by territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities, which are classified as Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) (UNEP-WCMC and ICCA Consortium, 2021). Despite the crucial role ICCAs play in conservation, they are often not legally recognized or protected, leaving them vulnerable to land grabbing and industries that exploit their resources.
The new Mapeo for ICCAs app now provides ICCA custodians with the means to digitally map the boundaries of their ICCAs, and improve the quality and accuracy of the information collected, which can be used for their advocacy purposes and/or fed into major global conservation databases for better visibility at the global level.
Mapeo for ICCAs includes a mobile app and a desktop app, which can be used together, or individually and which can sync information with each other. Both apps are easy-to-use, and people without technical experience can learn to use them very quickly. We prioritized having a simple interface and a basic functionality to make sure it is accessible to everyone, including those not familiar with technological tools.
Moreover, Mapeo for ICCAs works completely offline, as the areas in which the app will be most useful may lack internet connection or only have access to unreliable ones — that means that data collection and sharing information between phones and laptops can happen without the need of internet connection.
Mapeo for ICCAs offers Indigenous and community custodians control over their data and the power to decide what to do with it and with whom to share it. Mapeo for ICCAs mobile allows users to collect points along an ICCAs boundary using the mobile phone’s GPS and without internet. Then, they can be synced to Mapeo for ICCAs desktop completely offline to create the digital boundary on a desktop computer, by linking up the points collected using the mobile app and allowing multiple people working together to collectively agree on the correct boundary. If desired, users can provide details about the ICCA, such as its name and how it is governed.
ICCA custodians can also share their data with UNEP-WCMC once they have followed a self-determined process of free, prior and informed consent – It provides a voluntary mechanism for the ICCA custodians to submit their data to the ICCA Registry and the Protected Planet Initiative databases via the app.
🌐 The Mapeo for ICCAs app is currently available in English, French and Spanish and uses an open access software to translate the app. If interested in contributing to translations, get in touch with the WCMC team at email@example.com.
👣 Check out this step-by-step guide on how to download the app, how to use it and how to submit the information to UNEP-WCMC. More resources are available at: https://www.iccaregistry.org/en/news-and-stories/mapeo-mapping-app
🎥 Watch this video demonstration on Mapeo for ICCAs.