Press Release: November 30, 2020
Fionuala Cregan at email@example.com
***Media Advisory - For Planning Purposes Only***
On Wednesday, 2 December, Indigenous Peoples, members of local communities and their allies, part of Land Rights Now, will launch a week-long virtual land rights campaign
Evidence Shows that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are vital to combating Pandemics, Climate Change and Poverty
Advocates Launch world wide #CreateASpark Campaign for Land Rights
As the world confronts a triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and the risk of future pandemics, a campaign will be launched on 2 December to draw attention to the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as a solution to the global crises, while highlighting struggles to resist the destruction of lands and resources that forest peoples have cared for, often for centuries.
WHAT: Civil society and Indigenous Peoples organizations join allies worldwide
to demand recognition of land rights as concern grows that economic priorities will trump environmental and human rights issues.
Citing a growing body of research that shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities outperform other forest managers in preventing deforestation and biodiversity loss, as well as the conditions that enable the emergence of potentially dangerous pathogens.
An initiative of Land Rights Now, the campaign calls for global solidarity to support Indigenous Peoples and local communities in standing up to legal and illegal activities that are destroying tropical forests and waterways worldwide. The campaigners address four key challenges that address this illustrate this global problem:
In addition Young Indigenous Peoples across the world will come together during the campaign to document, through a series of Pandemic Diaries, how traditional indigneous knowledge has helped them through COVID-19 lockdowns.
WHEN: 2-9 December, 2020
Editor’s Note: A science panel will be held on 9 December to raise the visibility of a significant body of evidence supporting land rights as a solution to climate change, biodiversity loss and the threat of future pandemics. For information, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY: Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, Indigenous Peoples and local communities across the world will remind policy audiences, national governments, investors and the global public that their guardianship of the planet is essential to protect the health of the planet and all its inhabitants.
COVID-19 has led to a worsening of global poverty and hunger crises. As a new report from the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) shows, forests have enormous potential to slash poverty and food shortages.. Greater forest cover also protects humans from close contact with wild animals carrying unknown viruses.
To achieve these benefits, the world’s top experts in biodiversity and climate change have called for a transformation in the way humanity relates to nature, warning that we must live in harmony with nature and put an end to widespread deforestation.
“The evidence linking land use change to pandemics like COVID-19 is crystal clear. Deforestation and land use change is a globally significant cause of new emerging diseases moving from wildlife into people,” says Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance.
“Granting and protecting Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities land rights is a critical step in protecting our whole planet from emerging pathogens,” he says.
Indigenous Peoples and local communities protect 50% of the world’s surface and defend 80% of its biodiversity. Through their traditional knowledge, they can protect the Earth’s remaining forests from depletion far better than governments or private entities. According to the 2019 IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, recognizing Indigenous and community land rights leads to reduced deforestation and conserving biodiversity.
However, Indigenous Peoples and local communities cannot continue this role when their lands are prime targets for environmentally destructive agriculture, mining, logging, and other large-scale projects. Due to a lack of clear legal rights and land titles, they are not just unable to manage their resources, but also in constant danger of being displaced and pushed into poverty.
The Create a Spark campaign will highlight cases across three continents emblematic of this struggle:
Through calls to support these communities, the Create A Spark campaign will call upon global civil society and leaders to recognize the undeniable role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in saving the planet, and empower them to do so through secure land rights.
Interviews are available with the following key spokespeople:
For interview requests please contact Fionuala Cregan at email@example.com.
Land Rights Now is an international alliance campaign co-convened by the International Land Coalition, Oxfam, and the Rights and Resources Initiative that aims to secure indigenous and community land rights worldwide. Since its launch in March 2016, over 800 organizations and thousands of individuals from all corners of the world have joined the campaign. Read more in our flagship report Common Ground or visit: www.landrightsnow.org