HERICCA: Socio-Ecological Heritization of ICCAs in Spain and Morocco (2017-2020)



  • Pablo Dominguez (ICTA-UAB)
  • Isabel Ruiz Mallén (ICTA-UAB)

There is a growing scientific awareness that Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas (hereafter ICCAs) are a positive management regime vis-à-vis local communities’ well-being and environmental conservation. Nevertheless, ICCAs are generally undergoing swift degradation processes. As one of the key factors in such crisis we can point to important lacunas in the exchange interface between science and policy. One way to reinforce ICCAs at this level is through the processes of heritization, which seek clear and public recognition of the Natural and Cultural values of socio-ecologic systems at local, national and international levels. Although the agro-sylvo-pastoralist heritization approach is now emerging, and developing quickly in the Mediterranean region, its application to ICCAs is still practically non-existent. Yet, ICCAs have proved to hold important potential in terms of heritage conservation and development. The main hypothesis underlying this project proposal is that the described heritizing approach can contribute significantly to solving the current problems faced by ICCAs in the Mediterranean region, Europe and beyond. The pastoral ICCA of Santiago de la Espada in the Andalusian Baetic Mountains (Spain) and the pastoral ICCA of Yagur in the High Atlas Mountains will serve as an excellent case study to test this assumption as these are a fully active and well conserved ICCAs and much learning can be exported to other Mediterranean ICCAs. The team that will internationally, transdisiplinarily and multisectoraly undertake the research has lengthy scientific experience in this arena and regions, where it has noticed that a natural and cultural heritage of great potential value exists and could be still unfolded. Consequently, the main goals are: 1. To identify and record potential natural and cultural heritage values of these two ICCAs, and 2. To examine risks and opportunities of managing such values in the context of potential and on-going participative-collaborative heritization procedures.

This project is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (CSO2015-72607-EXP).


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