Land Grabbing in the Shadow of COVID-19 and Lockdowns

Izabela Bludnik
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXVI, Issue 2, 297-306, 2023
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3170


Purpose: The purpose of the article is to discuss the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on land grabbing in the Global South countries. This process is dramatic for the humanity around the globe and in particular for local populations whose property and human rights are violated. The most severe consequences include delay in meeting sustainable development and climate neutrality goals. Design/Methodology/Approach: Critical analysis of the literature, the analysis of secondary data available in reports and publications, case studies, synthesis and logical reasoning. Findings: The pandemic and lockdowns accelerated the process of land-grabbing. It has negative impact on indigenous peoples but consequences of land grabbing and deforestation are much wider. The deterioration of the natural environment hit all countries and their citizens. Moreover, the recovery from the pandemic crisis involved much public spending that boosted the indebtedness of many economies. This can undermine the implementation of sustainable development and climate neutrality goals. Practical Implications: COVID-19 epidemic has many positive and negative consequences that are widely discussed and well-known. However, the public is practically unaware of the process that takes place at the backstage of the pandemic and lockdowns, namely intensive land grabbing and deforestation, in particular in the Global South countries. Studies of this kind may increase social awareness of the environmental degradation as well as persuade the decision-makers to prioritize long-term climate goals over short-term monetary gains. Originality/Value: This research significantly expands the discussion about the consequences of the pandemic and lockdowns. It shows a problem that has not been sufficiently underlined, namely that bans on travelling, restricted mobility and gathering, and the reduced operation of the public administration have far reaching effects not only locally but also globally, thus contributing to the ecological crisis.

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