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Stay informed: News and articles on our environment.

Call for the Global Recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment

In this time of climate emergency and COVID-19 crisis, we have come together as civil society organizations, social movements, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples to call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to recognize without delay the human right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The first version of this letter was sent on September 10, 2020, and...

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‘Indigenous Women Are Championing Climate Justice’

'For Indigenous Mollopeople on Indonesia’s Timor Island, the forests, mountains, and water are not just their surroundings; they are as essential to their lives as food and air. These same forests and mountains are also rich in oil, gas, gold, and marble.  But for those who call the island home, these natural resources are more a curse than a blessing. Rather than benefiting...

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Brazil scientists map forest regrowth keeping Amazon from collapse: Study

'Scientists have mapped Brazil’s secondary forests and are now able to pinpoint the extent, age and location of regrowing vegetation anywhere in the country, opening up opportunities for incentive programs, monitoring and forest fire prevention. According to their findings, 12% of total carbon emissions from Amazon deforestation have been offset by Brazil’s secondary forests, making...

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‘Peaceful protectors of Cambodia’s Prey Lang forest, threatened by loggers and local authorities, vow to fight on’

'For Cambodia’s largest swath of intact rainforest, the most important line of defense against the logging companies and vested political interests that are seeing it deforested is the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), a local activist group of volunteer forest rangers that has been risking their lives to peaceably protect the area from illegal logging and large-scale land-grabbing...

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Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet for Human Rights Day 10 December 2020

Human rights key to build the world we want '2020 is a year none of us will ever forget. A terrible, devastating year that has scarred so many of us, in so many ways. At least 67 million people infected, and 1.6 million dead, in a pandemic that is far from over. A devastating impact on countries’ economies and on employment, income, education, health and food supply for hundreds of...

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European Union decisions on the right to a healthy environment

Recent European Union decisions related to the right to a healthy environment: 1. European Parliament resolution of 22 October 2020 on deforestation dedicated on section on human rights (see below). Deforestation and human rights Highlights that changing the regulatory framework in order to legalise the use of certain areas and modifying tenure rights does not take away the negative...

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‘Fisheries Observers are Human Rights Defenders on the World’s Oceans’

'Fisheries observers are human rights defenders on the world’s oceans. These individuals work independently onboard commercial fishing vessels around the world to collect scientific data on the state of the marine environment, and in some instances report on compliance with fisheries conservation and management measures. The data they provide is crucial to assess fish populations,...

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Elisabeth-Selbert-Initiative (ESI) – a protection programme for Human Rights Defenders at risk

The Elisabeth-Selbert-Initiative (ESI) is a new initiative, founded by the German Federal Foreign Office, in the protection of Human Rights Defenders. The program offers temporary relocation grants and on-site assistance or those who, because of their peaceful commitment to human rights, are being threatened by physical and psychological violence, arrest, occupational bans and even...

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‘How Youth Climate Activists Are Empowering Campaigners From Countries Suffering Most From Global Warming’

'Gladys Habu knows first-hand the devastation climate change is already visiting on the world. The 25-year-old has vivid memories of Kale Island, a tiny islet in the Solomon Islands archipelago where she used to swim and barbecue on the white sand beaches. It’s also where her grandparents used to live, decades back. But Kale Island no longer exists. It was declared lost in...

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‘Understanding and responding to the environmental human rights defenders crisis: The case for conservation action’

Conservation Letters Abstract: Close to two thousand environmental human rights defenders have been killed in 57 countries since 2002, with about four losing their lives every week in 2019. Many of these defenders represent Indigenous Peoples and local communities protecting ecosystems from large‐scale environmentally destructive projects. As the positive contributions of Indigenous...

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