Resource Grabbing & COVID-19: How the Pandemic has Contributed to Weakening Protections for Environmental Rights


COVID-19 has brought many changes and challenges to our daily lives, but how has it affected the environment? The Human Rights Center and the Environmental and Energy Law Society hosted two leading experts in the environmental and human rights field, Carlos Lozano Acosta and Juliana Nnoko-Mewanu, to discuss the impact on the environment during the pandemic.

In this webinar, Carlos Lozano Acosta and Juliana Nnoko-Mewanu both discussed their work as environmental and human rights advocates, including the current implication of some actors using the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification for dismantling existing environmental protections and subsequently the collective rights of indigenous, minority and other rural communities.

Both speakers discussed how the weakening of such protections poses a danger to local communities’ access to necessary resources. In addition, they both provided insight into the misconceptions concerning the necessity for environmental protections, the role that private entities play within their advocacy, and the lasting impact that dismantling such protections will take on the local communities, the nation itself, and the international community.

This conversation is moderated by Jessamine De Ocampo, a 3L at the University of Minnesota Law School and the International Environmental Liaison for the Environmental and Energy Law Society, along with a special introduction by Amanda Lyons.