Throughout December Land Rights Now and organizations worldwide are coming together to raise awareness of how securing land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities is key to protecting biodiversity and preventing pandemics.

Did you know that the destruction of nature increases the probability of future pandemics? There are thousands of unknown viruses in nature carried by wild animals. Deforestation brings us in closer contact with them. 

It is time to reassess our relationship with nature. In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, let’s be guided by those who have always known that our health is connected to the health of the planet: Indigenous Peoples and local communities. 

They protect 50% of the world’s surface and defend 80% of global biodiversity. They are the guardians of the forests and ecosystems. But they are under threat: their lands are being attacked by destructive industries like mining and large-scale monoculture, such as soy or palm oil plantations. Without secure land rights, the forests are losing their guardians and we all are becoming more vulnerable to future pandemics. Secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities are the key to a green, safe and healthy future.  And this is what the science says too – read here an overview of key research findings. 

To prevent future pandemics we need to live in harmony with nature, forests and animals.  Indigenous Peoples and local communities have the traditional knowledge to be our guiding light in these dark times – create a spark and join the week of action. See all the actions below: 

Watch the campaign video and learn how we can save biodiversity and help protect future pandemics:

Watch Elio’s pandemic diary and find out what he has discovered about Indigenous traditions during Covid-19 lockdowns: 

Watch more pandemic diaries here.