The environmental and human rights watchdog Global Witness collected and analyzed 2020 data from over worldwide world met deadly attacks on environmental advocates, and found that an average of more than four people died a week while defending the environment.
The Philippines was the only country outside the region until record more than 15 dead, Global Witness reported – 29 people were killed for attempts to stop mining, logging and dam projects. together, the more then half of the attacks in 2020 took place in die three countries, according to Global Witness.
The family members of some victims described to Global Witness how lockdown during the pandemic made the easier for defenders are attacked in their own homes, directed for to take on governments and businesses to protect the natural resources on which their communities depend on.
“2020 should have been the year the world stood still, but our data shows that this did not translate to safer results for the ones die to stand up for our planet,” Chris Madden, one of the authors of the report, told CNN.
“To be clear that the inexplicable exploitation and greed die driving the climate crisis also an increasingly violent one effect to have on people,” he added.
More than 70% of the attacks were on people defend forests — one of the planet’s natural carbon sinks – from further deforestation and industrial development, according to Global Witness. the watchdog says others were killed for protecting rivers, oceans and other coastal ecosystems.
The report found log to be the largest sector die most connected of the murder cases, with 23 in Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru and the Philippines together, followed by the fight for water rights and against dam building and mining.
And despite making up only 5% of the world’s population, more than 30% of all the fatal attacks targeting indigenous people in 2020. Global Witness has documented this in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Philippines.
Environmentalists in being Africa also experienced the same violence, but researchers say it may be underreported. Global Witness has documented 18 murders on the continent in 2020, a jump by just seven in 2019. Most of these attacks took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while the rest was in South Africa and Uganda.
“We know that in addition to murders, many defenders and communities also experience tries to silence them, with tactics like death threats, surveillance, sexual violence of criminalization,” the authors wrote of attacks are even less well reported.”
Adrian Salazar, policy director with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, according to the report’s findings: also reflect what is happening in the US, where the police squat down on Indigenous organizers protest the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure like the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota.
“Activists” in the global north to be facing increased criminalization, while environmental defenders in the global being south facing increasing risk of death”Salazar, who was not involved with the report, CNN told CNN.
“It’s infuriating, but also no wonder the murders of environmental advocates have increased again,” he added. “If this” new report shows, these defenders – and indigenous environmental defenders in special — risk their lives risk to protect our future.”
Researchers from Global Witness analysed international and national datasets met a list of attacks on environmentalists, search engine warnings, news sources, and information of tens of local, national, and regional organizations around the world. She also examined data in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
While Global Witness since 2012 environmental attacks over the whole world documents, group noted that they may be underestimating the kills as many share of the world have no free press and independent oversight on to attack.
Both the authors and Salazar warn that as the climate crisis deepens, so do attacks against the ones die trying to stop it.
“As the climate crisis and ecological devastation accelerate, the companies die these crises are ruthless in pursuing their profit even above the cost of human life,” said Salazar. “Every life and every… story Affairs. As long as violence against the earth continues, the resistance will continue.”
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