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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.

Mexico

Zapotecas Indigenous Joint Communities

At the south of Mexico in ‘Sierra Norte’, Oaxaca, eight Zapoteca communities come together to a joint community organization working on the conservation of 13,000 hectares of forest. Their conservation strategy is based on a sustainable management of the forest, but also the development of a managerial model through which they have developed community businesses combining technical knowledge with indigenous organization. (…)

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Brazil

Mariano Marcos Tenera

Mariano Marcos Terena, is the son of the Xane’ Pueblo, from the region of Aguas del Pantanal, between Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. A Brazilian national born in 1954 he is a Xane’ leader who has devoted his life to working and organizing for the rights of Indigenous people and for the earth itself. (…)

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United States

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Youngest ever congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a third-generation Bronxite, educator, and organizer serving the 14th district of New York in the Bronx and Queens. Since her swearing-in to Congress in January of 2019, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has remained committed to serving working-class people over corporate interests and advocating for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. (…)

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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. (…)

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