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Around the world, those who defend the environment and the human rights that depend on it face all types of obstacles, challenges and threats. Overcoming adversity, environmental human rights defenders have been working to change the lifes of many.

South Africa

Samson Mokoena – VEJA

Methane bubbles popping on the river’s surface, sewage clogged pipes, and the smell of faeces lingering in the air. These scenes are everyday realities for residents of Emfuleni – a municipality southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa – as the breakdown of the area’s pipes, pumps and wastewater treatment plants causes sewage to overflow into one of South Africa’s largest rivers, resulting in water and air contamination. (…)

Rights defended: ;;;;

United Arab Emirates

Adithiyan Rajan Indira Saravanan

Adithiyan is a 16 years old young environmentalist from the United Arab Emirates, working to achieve his vision of creating a world where the majority of people live an eco-friendly life and exist in harmony with nature, and inspiring a positive change in the world. (…)

Rights defended: ;

Ethiopia

Omot Agwa Okwoy

Omot Agwa Okwoy is a church leader in Ethiopia’s Gambela region and a human rights defender who works to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and people living in the Gambela region. (…)

Rights defended: ;;;;;;

Peru

Marañón River Keepers

‘Defensores Ambientales del Río Marañón’: The Marañón River is one of the most important water sources in Peru and a key Amazon tributary. In late April 2011, former Peruvian President Alan Garcia declared that the construction of 20 dams on the Marañón River was “in the national interest.” (…)

Rights defended: ;;;;

Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga´s Rangers

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Situated in a region which has been deeply impacted by the effects of war and armed conflict for over 20 years, Virunga is protected by the more than 700 Park Rangers team. These local men and women go through intensive training, risking their lives in a daily basis to safeguard the park´s wildlife. (…)

Rights defended: ;;;

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