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Policy Newsletter: the Central American migrant crisis; land and forest governance and the role of Indigenous People; plus news, analysis articles, and upcoming events.

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Region360.org Policy Newsletter

April 9 · Issue #7 · View online

We monitor hundreds of bilingual publications and organizations from across the sustainability and climate policy sectors in Latin America. Our human editors vet this content for quality and hand-pick the most stimulating and pertinent policy-related content. We have strong interests on climate adaptation and mitigation, SDG's, water and climate justice, indigenous rights, and gender equity.


Our new bilingual newsletter includes analysis and summaries of articles, events, and informational content we are curating for you bi-weekly . Our aim is to guide our reader’s through ongoing developments on sustainability and climate change policy in Latin America. Send us your comments at [email protected]

In This Issue: the Central American migrant crisis; land and forest governance and the role of Indigenous People; plus news, analysis articles, and upcoming events (and event recaps).
Migration from Central America is not a recent phenomenon yet we often hear terms like “surges” and “crisis” at the border. In this issue, we are featuring The Latin America Working Group’s Migration News Brief, which invites us to think of migration in terms of “cycles.” Cycles of socio-economic instability, US politics, and the ever-more present cycles of extreme weather events, amongst many others, that drive people to migrate. As more intense weather events, compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbate food insecurity and poverty, these cycles of migration have been more frequent and pressing. We are also featuring the article Stopgap methods won’t fix migration challenge, by the People’s World, which highlights the US’s complex history of intervention in Central America and the critical importance to adopt a new approach to policymaking. 
While devastating weather events (which are expected to become more intense with future climate change patterns) are one of many determinants contributing to increased migration, a new UN report titled Forest Governance by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, makes a promising case for policymakers to protect Indigenous and Tribal Peoples land rights as a way to accelerate conservation, mitigate climate change, and fight food insecurity. This could aid in stemming the flow of migration through policy that actually supports the long-term well-being of Latin America and the Caribbean’s most vulnerable communities. The articles Mining, a Latent Threat to the Amazon and Victims and Deforesters, part of a series of five articles focusing on threats to the Amazon, by the Center of Sustainable Development Goals for Latin America explore the devastating effects of uncontrolled land grabbing for exploitative mining and cattle ranching activities that are displacing local communities and destroying economic opportunities. Cuzcatlán Mine–With License to contaminate by Avispa Midia is yet another investigation of unregulated exploitative mining and the contamination effects this has on local communities. The common denominator of these stories is how a lack of land protections is creating unsuitable environments for living. This begs us to question if policies focused on protecting peoples’ land rights could play a critical role in mitigating migration.  
Please also see the Economic Commission for Latin America’s event on utilizing Earth Observation Solutions to monitor and calculate SDG indicators in Latin America. For a multi-layered analysis of the challenges to development posed by COVID-19 and a discussion of possible solutions, please see FLACSO’s series of conferences on development alternatives in the face of the pandemic. Finally, for a good-feel read, check out Recipes with a Taste of Sustainable Development on the Coast of El Salvador to learn about a small grants program that has provided solar ovens and energy-efficient cookstoves to 18 villages, promoted sustainable agricultural practices, and preserved and restored hundreds of hectares of mangroves and marine ecosystems, showing how small, community-level investments can have transformative, and delicious outcomes. 
Happy Reading! 
Melina Smith, Research Associate, Region360.org
Additional Events and Reports:
  • Agua Salud: an online talk focusing on water management and conservation.
  • FLACSO conferences: Alternativas para el desarrollo–América Latina y el Caribe frente a la pandemia
  • See below the recording for the book launch The Water Defenders: The David and Goliath story of ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together with international allies to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country’s main water source.
Articles and reports…
Central America, migration: LAWG's Migration News Brief Central America, migration: LAWG's Migration News Brief
Migrant crisis, food security: stopgap methods won't fix migration challenge Migrant crisis, food security: stopgap methods won't fix migration challenge
New FAO report, forests: Indigenous and Tribal Peoples are the best guardians of the forests of Latin America and the Caribbean
Amazon, deforestation, five-part report: Amazonia, una selva que arde Amazon, deforestation, five-part report: Amazonia, una selva que arde
Mexico, mining: minera Cuzcatlán--con licencia para contaminar
El Salvador, food security: recipes with a taste of sustainable development on the coast of el salvador El Salvador, food security: recipes with a taste of sustainable development on the coast of el salvador
The Union of Land Workers is Creating a New Food Paradigm in Argentina The Union of Land Workers is Creating a New Food Paradigm in Argentina
El Salvador, SDG 5: underreported and unpunished, femicides in El Salvador continue El Salvador, SDG 5: underreported and unpunished, femicides in El Salvador continue
Indigenous Communities in Mexico Take up Arms to Defend the Monarch Forest
Regional, policy: in battle against climate change, courts become a new frontier
Argentina: principios para una recuperación con justicia ambiental, social, de género y económica
Regional, sustainability policy: European Commission and UNEP set out cooperation priorities to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean
Upcoming and ongoing events…
Talk, water: agua salud--tropical landscape management
for a sustainable future Talk, water: agua salud--tropical landscape management for a sustainable future
Open seminars, sustainable development: FLACSO dio inicio a su ciclo de conferencias sobre alternativas de desarrollo
Forum: Environmental Leadership--Latin American Perspectives on the Climate Crisis
Forum, ongoing: El hacer socioambiental durante y post pandemia Forum, ongoing: El hacer socioambiental durante y post pandemia
Past event recaps, recordings, and summaries…
Event recording, water, El Salvador: book launch--The Water Defenders
Event recap: activism and commitments to accelerate gender equality mark conclusion of the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City
Event recap, Agenda 2030: regional workshop for latin american and caribbean countries presenting their voluntary national reviews in 2021
Event recap, data for sustainability: earth observations for sustainable development goals in the americas region Event recap, data for sustainability: earth observations for sustainable development goals in the americas region
Event recap, ongoing, SDG5: segundo día del foro #GeneraciónIgualdad sigue todas las sesiones aquí
Event recap: forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2021
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