Why it works

Local & practical

In five countries – Colombia, Peru, DR Congo, Indonesia and the Philippines – we work on specific interventions which improve the safety of environmental defenders. Together with local partners, we work on implementing a digital reporting system to better register incidents, we help organize safety trainings and measures, and assist in providing legal support. An emergency fund is put in place to bring people to safety in case of emergency. The interventions are tailored to the local situations and needs.

Structural improvement

To structurally improve the protection of environmental defenders, we advocate for the international recognition of the right to defend the environment with authoritative bodies such as the United Nations. Recognition at an international level will contribute to the development of international legal mechanisms to better protect environmental defenders. An important step promises to be the UN Binding Treaty, which should contain obligations to respect environmental defenders and their rights. In a petition to the Dutch parliament, we ask them to actively support this Treaty and to ensure that it protects environmental defenders in an adequate way.

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  • Every week, four people are killed because they stand up for nature.
  • Conflicts over agribusiness were the number one cause of killings
  • Almost 40 percent of the victims are from indigenous groups

International human rights law recognises that environmental human rights defenders have rights to carry out their work without interference. States have obligations to protect them from harassment and violence and to provide remedies for violations of their rights. - UN Special Rapporteur John Knox

Become a partner

Do you see opportunities to work together on increasing safety of environmental defenders?

Contact our expert Liliana Jauregui.

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