Representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries will meet from 19 until 21 April in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the second Conference of the Parties (COP2) of the Escazú Agreement, an important point of discussion is the advancement of the Environmental Defenders Protection Implementation Plan. Our Latin American partner organisations host three side events you can join online.

Header photo: An environmental defender documenting a logging site in Madre de Dios, Peru. © Tom Laffay

The Escazú Agreement is a regional political treaty in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The full name of the treaty is “Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The agreement went into force in 2021, and the first COP took place in April 2022.

Side event: challenges and opportunities for the Amazon

Our Colombian partner FCDS (Fundación para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sostenible) organises a side event on the challenges and opportunities for the protection of the Amazon in the light of the Escazú Agreement. We work together with FCDS on our Forests for a Just Future and Amazon rights in focus programmes.

During the side event, a panel will discuss the implementation of the Escazú Agreement and its challenges and opportunities, such as the lack of information on deforestation and its causes, and extractive projects and market conditions in the context of climate change, including the REDD+ mechanism. The panelists will focus on the situation in the Colombian, Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon.

Date: Wednesday, 19 April
Time: 14:00 Argentinian time (GMT-3)

Side event: environmental democracy and active citizenship in Peru

Together with SPDA (Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental), we strengthen the protection system of environmental human rights defenders, women and men, in Madre de Dios in the Peruvian Amazon.

During the COP2 to the Escazú Agreement, SPDA will organise an event for participants to reflection on how, by strengthening environmental justice, we can contribute to effectively exercising environmental human rights and improve the situation of people defending these rights when the justice system is failing.

Date: Thursday, 20 April
Time: 17:00 Argentinian time (GMT-3)

Side event: gender guidelines for the Escazú Agreement

On Friday, the final day of the COP, FARN (Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) will host a side event on the Escazú Agreement from a gender perspective. FARN is a partner of our Forest for a Just Future programme.

While environmental conflicts increase, the role of women in defending their environmental and human rights becomes more apparent. This does not mean, however, that women are sufficiently included in decision-making and legal processes.

For this reason, this event seeks to deepen the dialogue on the implementation of the Escazú Agreement from a gender perspective, with the specific objective to reflect on the work to be carried out by the agreement’s Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance.

Date: Friday, 21 April
Time: 17:00 Argentinian time (GMT-3)

Mongabay: interview with Vanessa Torres

News platform Mongabay Latam interviewed Vanessa Torres, deputy director of Ambiente y Sociedad, about the Escazú Agreement. Ambiente y Sociedad is one of the Colombian civil society organisations that was part of the Alliance for the Escazú Agreement, a coalition that advocated for Colombia to ratify the treaty for years. President Gustavo Petro signed the agreement in October 2022.

But this important moment does not mark an end point. If citizens are not paying close attention to the implementation of the Escazú Agreement, it will die, said Torres during her interview with Mongabay. The article is written in Spanish.

Forests for a Just Future

Through the Forests for a Just Future programme, IUCN NL and partners contribute to the safeguarding of the rights of environmental and human rights activists. We started a capacity building project in which we inform mainly women in remote Amazon areas about their right to participate in environmental matters and what steps to take of this right is violated.

Amazon rights in focus: peoples and forest protection

The Amazon is the most extensive rainforest on earth. But the Colombian Amazon is at risk: the surging demand for commodities such as beef, palm oil, gold, and illicit crops trigger deforestation. To safeguard the Colombian Amazon, we aim to end forest crime and to improve the territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

More information?

Liliana Jauregui
Liliana Jauregui
Senior Expert Environmental Justice