Regional Capacity Building Workshop on the Management of ICCAs and Development Models

Santiago de Chiquitos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia October 16-21, 2016 


Group Picture Bolivia

The Equator Initiative in partnership with the ICCA Consortium and the GEF Small Grants Programme organized a regional capacity building workshop in Bolivia in October 2016 focusing on the management and protection of indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) and economic development particularly from the extractive sector. The workshop focused on four areas for capacity development including: conflict resolution and the international legal human rights; communication; mapping and digital technologies for the integrated management of indigenous territories and ICCAs; and indigenous knowledge systems and biocultural community protocols. Key recommendations for moving forward include: i) virtual capacity development in legal frameworks, communication and conflict resolution; ii) activate an alert system with solidarity networks at the national and international levels; iii) develop and/or strengthen platforms for the exchange of learning; iv) support participatory mapping, three dimensional models and use of drones; v) support to autonomous indigenous governance; vi) strengthening and revitalization of ancestral indigenous knowledge system; and vii) documentation.

Equator Prize winners 

Javier Ancapán, Manquemapu, Chile

Maximiliano Tanimuka, ACIYA, Colombia

Manuela Ima, Mujeres Waorani, Ecuador

Juan Chávez, Shipibo (AIDER), Peru

Rosario Barradas, Chalalán, Bolivia

Neide Cartagena, Consejo Indígena del Pueblo Tacana, Bolivia

Eloy Sarabia Vie, Consejo Regional Tsimane-Mosetén, Bolivia



Key topics addressed

 Conflict resolution The intention of the session was to introduce a package of tools that can be used to analyze and understand how to manage and resolve a conflict. The PIN triangle was shared as a helpful way to identify positions, interests and needs. In plenary key focal points of conflict were identified with the participants who are experiencing them. Examples in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile among others were shared. In working groups participants discussed those situations and used the tools provided to analyze them.

Legal frameworks: A moderated discussion with Upasana Khatri from Earth Rights International, Valentin Muibo from the Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia, and government representative Evaristo Mamani sought to generate a dialogue on the 1) main international legal instruments of critical significance to indigenous peoples’ rights; 2) how these instruments can be applied at the national level (with examples), 3) what have indigenous peoples’ achieved in Bolivia with regard to recognition of their rights; 4) the challenges that indigenous peoples continue to face; and 5) recommendations for accessing justice.

Communication: The plenary and working group sessions on communication focused on five areas: 1) the importance of communication for social reasons, i.e. building relationships; 2) how people communicate with nature -a key component of indigenous peoples’ cosmovisión or worldview; 3) how communities communicate to share cultural values and knowledge related to their territories and biodiversity; 4) how to develop a communication strategy which requires a mapping exercise of needs, targets, i.e. communication for what and to whom (allies, adversaries, neutral actors, potential allies); and 5) a practical exercise in groups aimed at developing key messages and radio spots.

Mapping: The theoretical sessions held in plenary on mapping focused on the power of maps- how they are read, documented and the influence they can have on policy makers. The sessions highlighted the importance of participatory mapping and three dimensional development models (P3DM) as a tool for advocacy and social cohesion. The sessions also addressed the tools available through digital technology such as mapping undertaken by drones, and how to read the data provided by drones. A full day of working groups enabled small groups to learn exactly how a P3DM is made and used in addition to how drones work. Participants practiced using a drone and produced a mock map of Santiago de Chiquitos.

Indigenous knowledge systems and biocultural community protocols: The session on indigenous knowledge systems highlighted how remote indigenous communities in the Amazon are not only protecting their land from extractives through establishing protected areas, but also protecting their biocultural diversity and heritage. These communities provide humanity with a wealth of knowledge and contribute to the depth of the human experience. A working group session on the development of a biocultural community protocol among an indigenous community in Northern Argentina was shared to demonstrate the use of such a tool. The protocol entitled Kachi Yupi: Tracks in the salt: Consultation and Free Prior and Informed Consent was also recognized by the Argentine government, and prepared due to pressures from interests in lithium extraction.

Biocultural community protocols are tools that communicate a community’s priorities, values, procedures and rights based on customary laws, international and state laws. These protocols can be used to engage with external actors such as governments or companies, and can spark constructive responses to threats posed from outside.


Bolivia Ale 2  Foto grupo Taller Bolivia Bolivia Manuela y Max

The workshop benefited from the support of five international organizations to ensure the participation of key resource persons. The International Land Coalition (Rome, Italy) supported the participation of Cristian Lam of CADPI Nicaragua to share CADPI’s experience in three dimensional and participatory mapping. The non-governmental organization, International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) Copenhagen, Denmark supported the participation of Jorge Agurto, director of the news service Servindi based in Lima, Peru. Agurto led the session on communication. Earth Rights International in Washington DC, USA supported the participation of Upasana Khatri to share her knowledge in legal human rights frameworks and mechanisms for accessing justice at both the international and regional levels. Debora Linga from Suriname was supported by CTA- Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (Hague, Netherlands), to lead a session on three dimensional participatory mapping models (P3DM). Equitable Origins a NGO focusing on the establishment of social and environmental standards in energy development supported the participation of staff member Pablo Yepez based in Ecuador to share their work in negotiation and certification processes. ”

Moreover, experts in their fields were invited to lead specific sessions. Mirna Cuentas from Bolivia led the session on conflict resolution and transformational processes, Alison Hospina from the UNDP Peru office who works on intercultural democratic dialogue processes in the UNDP project on the prevention of social conflict with the use of natural resources joined Pablo Yepez in a session on negotiation processes, and Jaime Paneque-Gálvez and Nicolás Vargas Ramírez from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México led both a theoretical session and a hands-on training on the use of drones including the analysis of data. Carolina Amaya from CEMI (Centro de Estudios Médicos Interculturales), Colombia and focal point for the ICCA Consortium in Colombia focused on the value of strengthening and supporting indigenous systems of knowledge by sharing her work on developing intercultural policies particularly in health. Oscar Campanini from the Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia shared his research indicating increased growth in the mining sector across South America and in indigenous peoples’ territories over the last few years.

Four national GEF SGP coordinators from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay participated in addition to a representative from the UNDP Peru office and two government officials from Bolivia’s Ministry of External Relations.

An international observer from IUCN Netherlands joined the workshop as well. 



The Latin American news service Servindi based in Lima, Peru prepared three articles summarizing the proceedings of the workshop including background and outcomes.