FAO-EU FLEGT Programme

Webinar series on COVID-19 and the Forest Sector - Experience from Forest Communities of Covid-19 Impacts

About the session:

28 October 2020, 10:00-11:00 CET  Language: English

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront a number of pressing global challenges. Health systems have been stretched thin and lockdown measures have taken a heavy social and economic toll, the devastating impacts of which are being felt by all – from urban residents of  densely populated megacities to indigenous peoples living deep in the heart of forests.

For centuries, forests have served as safety nets for the rural poor. Forest products provide food, income, and nutritional diversity for about 20 per cent (FAO, 2018) of the global population, especially women, children and landless farmers. Forest-based communities in turn play a critical role as custodians of the forest and in monitoring resource-extraction activities by third-parties. It is anticipated that these marginalized groups will be disproportionately affected by the  pandemic. In this context, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme has partnered with RECOFTC and the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) to carry out field surveys to document the immediate impact of the pandemic on forest communities in several countries in Asia and Africa, including their perceptions of law enforcement, as critical input towards designing suitable recovery programmes. The studies show that forest-based communities play a key role in protecting forest resources and improving the
resilience of forest-dependent people in times of crisis.

This virtual session will:

  • Present findings on the impact of the pandemic perceived at the “forest front” and needs for recovery
  • Discuss how community forestry can contribute to strengthening and maintaining legality in forest management
  • Identify concrete actions to support community-led forest monitoring to enhance legal resource extraction practices
  • Demonstrate how community forestry can improve the resilience of forest-dependent communities during periods of disaster
  • Emphasize that healthy forest ecosystems and resilient forest-dependent communities should be an important pillar of a green COVID-19 recovery programme.

Register here

Programme here

Speakers' biographies here