The methodology applied by RF and its partners in Brazil can be considered transformative since it puts the local communities at the centre of the planning of their use of their land, and focuses on providing support so they can develop their tools in order to increase their ability to influence democratic decision making that affects how forest management is done in Brazilian Amazon.
Notably, the increased rights of people were demonstrated during the pandemic through the project’s long time work in strengthening the capacity of the communities to represent themselves through their organizations as well as their ability to protect their territories from illegal invasions. The project area is in theory very vulnerable to the pandemic because of its geography being an access point to a hundred traditional villages in the remote rainforest. See risk and vulnerability map created by the project partners and more here.
The community organizations with project support were designated by the Brazilian Justice system as the designated organizations to organize the response to the pandemic. Through their work they were able to avoid any community spread of the disease installing hygiene vigilance posts at crucial access points, mobilize and provide emergency support to isolated communities and support the bringing of community products to market without exposing community members.
In January 2021, the indigenous communities of the project region were among the first groups to be vaccinated against Covid-19 under the national vaccination program. The Quilombola communities who had to appeal their inclusion in the priority groups for vaccination to the Brazilian Supreme Court won a great legal victory with project support and are currently in the process of being vaccinated (April/May 2021).
These victories both in avoiding the spread of the disease in 2020 and 2021 to the vulnerable remote Indigenous villages which dot the protected area of the project region and their successful inclusion in the priority vaccination campaigns are a clear demonstration of the strength of the rights based approach of the project.