The webinar Rolling back social and environmental safeguards in the name of COVID-19, organized by Forest Peoples Programme, the Tenure Facility, Middlesex University, the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and the Land Portal Foundation, took place on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
Global leaders increasingly recognize that land rights for indigenous and local communities are a prerequisite for achieving national and international goals for forest governance, food security, climate mitigation, economic development and human rights.
In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the political context in many countries, and some governments used the pandemic as a justification for dismantling the protections gained by Indigenous and Forest Peoples. This has been particularly common in heavily forested countries where there are large indigenous communities.
In partnership with various civil society organizations, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic of Yale Law School, Middlesex University London, and local researchers have developed five country-specific reports on Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, and Perú. These reports address the following question: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, to what extent are the five most tropically forested countries rolling back social and environmental safeguards and if so, what are, or may be, the negative consequences in terms of land grabs, rights abuse and deforestation in indigenous territories.
This webinar launched the report and presented its findings to a global audience. The 90 minute session included the report presentation, a panel discussion including representatives from four countries and a Q&A with the audience. The webinar was conducted in English and Spanish.
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The vision of the Land Portal Foundation is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.
The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility is focused on securing land and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. We are the first financial mechanism to exclusively fund projects working towards this goal while reducing conflict, driving development, improving global human rights, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Forest Peoples Programme supports the rights of peoples who live in forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. We work to create political space for forest peoples to secure rights, control their lands and decide their own futures.