Advancing the Protection of Rainforests and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Amidst a Global Pandemic
In any given year, the indigneous peoples of the rainforests of Central and South America face countless threats to defend their lands, lives, and livelihoods. From fighting illegal invasions to being subject to violence and intimidation, to enduring poverty, they are constantly advocating to secure the government support and services necessary to protect their hard-earned rights. Under normal circumstances, these struggles complicate indigenous peoples’ important efforts to protect some of the most valuable rainforest ecosystems in the world.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced several new layers of threats.
The virus is wreaking havoc on the health of rural communities. Under-resourced public health facilities are unable to keep up with the pace of infection in their communities — populations that are already suffering from complicated health conditions that have gone untreated due to poor access to services.
Despite the lock-downs imposed nearly region-wide by national states of emergency, illegal activities and invasions into indigenous peoples’ territories are spiking in 2020 as environmental enforcement agents are being redirected to support the national health emergency.
Meanwhile, the lock-downs are also leading to a devastating decline in the agricultural and tourism markets that indigenous peoples depend on. As a result, entire families and whole communities are falling into poverty.
Rainforest Foundation US and our partners have been ramping up our work this year to address both persistent and new threats emerging as a result of COVID.
Below are some of the highlights of our impact in 2020 to protect the peoples and the rainforests of Central and South America amidst the ever-changing landscape of a global pandemic.
2020 Impact In Numbers