Few can argue that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent memory. While most years tend to blend into one another, the stark shift in our way of life between 2019 and 2020 represented just how quickly the course of events around the world can change our day to day activities.
The zoonotic origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has put indigenous food sources, specifically wildlife consumption, under the crosshairs of legislators looking to curb a repeat of the pandemic. Such policies could threaten the traditional food systems of indigenous communities who rely on the rich and wonderful world of wild foods for their food, health and economic security (page 12.)
This double issue highlights the diverse opportunities present with wild foods, and the linked relationships between the modern urban world and the natural ecosystem. Our cover story on the conclusion of Madhu Duniya 2019 (next page) is one way how a network of like-minded individuals and organizations can come together for mutual growth and support towards sustainable honey harvest, even after a year has already passed from the last event (page 06.)
As we move forward towards solving the various ecological issues facing our modern world, we must insist on including the voices of the indigenous peoples around the world in the same platform afforded to governments, organizations and businesses (page 07.) The CSO Forum provides good examples of how governance informed by indigenous voices can work towards a more robust and sustainable future (page 14.)
We should also remember that food security and environmental security are not mutually exclusive. The story of one urban employee in Bangalore and his daily lunchtime encounter with a falcon reminds us that the world that wildlife live in is closer to us than we think (page 10.) In the same way, the material and logistical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic saw how technology can be utilized to benefit indigenous artisans in Indonesia (page 16) as well as unite women environmental human rights defenders in solidarity and struggle (page 18.) Still, we must be mindful of the divides the digital migration of the pandemic has created, and we must ensure that our actions bring peoples and forests closer, not apart.