DEFENDING THE LAND AND NATURE: PROTECTION AND RESISTANCE IN TIMES OF COVID
OCTOBER 14 – 09:00 A.M. LIMA
According to the latest Global Witness report (2019), Latin America continues to be the most lethal region in the world for land and environmental defenders, with Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala being the countries with the highest per capita death rate.
In 2019 the situation of this group was already critical, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks faced in their work as rights defenders due to the measures adopted by different governments in the region. The states of emergency and lockdowns have been used by the State to exercise more control over society, producing the demobilization of peasant and indigenous movements, and favoring arrests and surveillance of defenders.
Likewise, in the context of the recent economic reactivation in the region – with a still uncontrolled pandemic – pressure on land and territories of indigenous and peasant communities has increased due to the approval of new extraction projects. There is, therefore, the need to reflect on this situation and on the challenges that are faced as region to protect land and environmental defenders, considering their role in the preservation of nature and their efforts to ensure the observance of the rights of indigenous peoples and peasant communities to land and territory.
Based on an analysis of the situation of land and environmental defenders in the region, this session of the Land Forum will make it possible to identify and reflect on the existing proposals and strategies on the part of defenders and the civil society, as well as the Inter-American Human Rights system to develop protection and self-protection actions in a context of greater infringement of human rights.
DATE AND TIME
- 09:00 a.m. Lima, Quito, Bogota, and Panama City
- 10:00 a.m. La Paz and Asuncion
- 11:00 a.m. Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Asunción and Brasilia
- 8:00 a.m. Central America
Spanish and simultaneous interpretation to English and Portuguese.
-09:00 Panel presentation and moderation: Paula Berrutti - Human Rights Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for South America
- Regional overview of land and environment defender’s situation. Marina Comandulli, Global Witness
- Defenders in times of pandemic- Wilmer Vanegas, Organizations of Displaced Population (OPDS in Spanish) Montes de María, Colombia
- Women defenders and extractivism, Ruth Alipaz, National Coordinator for the Defense of Peasant Native Indigenous Territories and Protected Areas (CONTIOCAP), Bolivia
-09:30 Initiatives and strategies for protection and self-protection
- The generation of data as a strategy for the protection of defenders. Eva Hershaw, Land monitoring and database responsible, ILC Secretariat
- CODECA’s experience in the development of community self-protection strategies. Manuel Marroquín, Peasant Development Committee (CODECA), Guatemala
- Contributions for the development of community self-protection strategies. Marta Esber, Plurales Foundation, Argentina
- The role of the IACHR in the protection of land and environmental defenders. Commissioner Joel Hernández García, Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Justice Operators - IACHR
- Final remarks and reflection about the OHCHR role regarding protection of land and environmental defenders. Paula Berrutti, Human Rights Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for South America