Environmental defenders are more important than ever

News - 2022-06-27
During the UN environment conference Stockholm+50 in June, ForumCiv organized three seminars together with several other civil society organizations. In all the events, environmental defenders and activists talked about the local environmental destruction caused by companies and the increased threats toward those who protect the environment. Watch two of the seminars below.

"Since the 2016 peace agreement, over 600 environmental defenders have been murdered in Colombia. We must protect the rights of environmental defenders so that they can continue to protect our environment," said Daniel Ortiz Gallego of the Colombian organization Centro de Alternativas al Desarrollo (CEALDES) during the seminar at the UN Association.

Daniel Ortiz Gallego, Centro de Alternativas al Desarrollo (CEALDES).

All our events focused on the adoption of UN Resolution 48/13 on the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. Adopted in October 2021, the resolution recognizes the right to a healthy environment as a fundamental human right. This is an important milestone for civil society, which will support the continued fight to protect the environment and obtain compensation for vulnerable groups affected by environmental damage.

Marcos Orellana, UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights.

"Many villagers suffer from cancer after Boliden dumped toxic waste in Arica, Chile. The UN resolution on the right to a healthy environment is an important tool for affected people to receive justice and reparation worldwide," said UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights Marcos Orellana during the seminar at the People's Forum.

"Small-scale farmers around Liberia are losing their land and villagers are being displaced from their homes due to industrial projects," said Radiatu Sheriff-Kanhplaye of Green Advocates International, Liberia during the side event at the UN conference. 

Radiatu Sheriff-Kanhplaye, Green Advocates International.

"It's time to move from voluntary guidelines to binding rules to hold businesses accountable," continued UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment David Boyd.

David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment.

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