Geneva Roadmap for Environmental Human Rights Defenders

The Geneva Roadmap in nutshell

  • a collective effort to bridge action for Environmental Human Rights Defenders.
  • 4 collective action goals
  • Linking human rights and environmental communities
  • Effective implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution and boosting Policy


IUCN Virtual dialogue:

Geneva Peace week dialogue on environmental defenders in Peace building:

4 Common Action Goals

1. Reverse the tide of marginalization of and attacks against environmental actors

How is the negative spiral of marginalization and attacks against defenders broken? To reverse the tide of violence, the dialogue identified activities ranging from inclusive narratives, addressing root causes to the enhancement accountability.

2. Reinforce environmental rights, enabling civic spaces and accountability

How are enabling and safe conditions created for Environmental Human Rights defenders? Protecting environmental human rights defenders require the respect of human rights, enabling civic spaces and reinforced mechanisms of accountability.

3. Bridge initiatives and enhance cooperation

How to counter the risk of multiple and fragmented efforts to support Environmental Human Rights Defenders? Discussions put a strong emphasis on bridging initiatives and enhancing cooperation between the environmental and human rights communities.

4. Break isolation and facilitate effective access to protection

How can the common isolation of defenders be broken and better access to protection be enhanced? The Geneva dialogues stressed strengthening local-international connections, deepening action on the ground, adapting tool kits and improving networks through more direct engagement with defenders themselves.

Human Rights Council Resolution and boosting international policy environments

In 2019, a landmark resolution from the Human Rights Council specifically addresses the protection needs of environmental human rights defenders (, and a landmark resolution ( for the conservation community has been proposed for the thousands of conservationists meeting at the World Conservation Congress. The Geneva Roadmap seeks to enhance effective and equitable implementation and boosting international policy cooperation.


The Geneva Road Map emerged from dialogue co-organized by academic partners, defender networks, CSOs, UN Special Rapporteurs and international organizations at the Palais Eynard, Geneva in February, 2020 (see complementary report). Results are feeding into international policy processes such as the implementation of the 2019 Human Rights Council Resolution 40/11 on environmental human rights defenders as well as multiple other processes.