Amazonia 2.0 against COVID-19: a local struggle

Amazonia 2.0 is a project financed by the European Union and coordinated by IUCN South American Regional Office, implemented in 6 countries of the Amazon basin. Its objective is the reduction of pressures and threats on the forests, through the adequate management of indigenous and campesino territories. Its fundamental tool is community monitoring through which it generates advocacy in local, provincial and national decision-making, at the service of environmental and cultural conservation.

Desde la llegada del COVID-19 al continente americano, el proyecto Amazonía 2.0 vio afectadas sus actividades regulares y diseñó un “Plan de Contingencia ante el COVID-19”.

South America, 18 August 2020 (IUCN). Since the arrival of the COVID-19 to the American continent, the Amazonia 2.0 project saw its regular activities affected, designing a "Contingency Plan for the COVID-19", which prioritizes office work and knowledge exchange through a strategy of virtual cross-learning, which includes internal work sessions and seminars open to all audiences. Another important part of this contingency plan contemplates help and support to the local actors of the project; indigenous communities especially vulnerable to the pandemic.

In this sense, Amazonia 2.0 has collaborated with the organization of local groups to attend to cases in rural areas and generate action plans: before, during and after COVID-19.  Among the priorities of the project was the protection and support to the leaders, many of them infected with COVID-19, guaranteeing in this way the interlocution with the Indigenous Peoples. To this end, humanitarian aid was managed in cooperation with local governments, delivering kits with basic medicines, food, personal biosecurity materials and sanitation and cleaning supplies.

As part of the regional plan, the project partners managed to generate educational material for the prevention of contagion and instructions on procedures in the event of infection. Radio spots were also produced in native languages and social network groups were activated to report cases and generate information in real time, often taking advantage of the same technological tools used for forest monitoring.

The aid actions carried out in each of the countries where the project is implemented are adapted to the specific needs of each context, paying special attention to the communities with the highest number of infections and deaths, as is the case of Atalaya in Peru and the Waorani territory in Ecuador. Together with the partners from these countries, Eco Redd and EcoCiencia, important efforts continue to be made to support and make visible the serious situation these indigenous communities are going through in the face of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of public systems for dealing with emergencies, and additionally how vulnerable and invisible the Indigenous Peoples are in situations of this type; but it has also motivated us to strengthen the work of our consortium, generating solidarity alliances with other organizations and involving public institutions in the initiatives undertaken, promoting the achievement of results, making political impact and obtaining the help needed by the communities more quickly. It has also awakened the commitment and human sensitivity of all our teams, generating greater awareness in our technical monitors about the importance of their communication and monitoring work.

For more information on the efforts and actions of Amazonia 2.0 regarding the COVID-19, please see our video report:

EN: https://youtu.be/1OkYzi5h8EA

PT: https://youtu.be/9N7LyS_Zmks 

ES: https://youtu.be/KYDp2Ee5V1M

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