The land and environmental defenders facing the deadliest year on record

"These defenders are part of a global movement to protect the planet. They are on the frontline of fighting climate change, preserving ecosystems and safeguarding human rights. They stand up for causes that benefit us all: sustainability, biodiversity and justice." - Global Witness

2017 was the deadliest year on record for land and environmental defenders, according to a new report released on 24 July 2018 by NGO Global Witness.

ALERT Guatemalan land defenders face wave of assassinations

The situation for land rights defenders in Guatemala is seriously and rapidly deteriorating, according to alerts released by PBI Guatemala and other human rights organisations. Since 9 May, seven indigenous leaders and activists have been killed across the country.

Honduras - State repression of peaceful protest demanding justice in the case of Berta Caceres

On the October 20 in Tegucigalpa members of COPINH and other civil society organisations held a peaceful demonstration outside of the Public Prosecutors’ office to demand transparency and justice in the case of the murder of Berta Cáceres. The demonstrators faced violent repression by the police forces present. Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the protesters. Hundreds of people were affected by tear gas fumes as they attempted to flee the scene. Those who found themselves within the reach of the security forces were kicked and beaten with batons.

World indigenous peoples' day 2016: celebrating communities as agents of change

International day of the world’s indigenous peoples represents an opportunity to reflect on the contribution made by indigenous communities around the globe. While the common narrative surrounding indigenous people often focuses on their vulnerability, PBI's experience working with grassroots community groups at the forefront of the struggle for land and environmental rights in Central and Latin America highlights that they are also important agents of change.

Guatemalan Indigenous Leader Pedro Sicá visits the UK

In March 2016 Pedro Sicá, Guatemalan indigenous leader, visited London as part of a Europe wide speaker tour organised by PBI. Pedro is an indigenous Maya K’iche’ leader of the Cunén Community Council (CCC), a community organization for the defence of the land, natural resources and human rights. In the area of Cunén and northern Quiché, there are many social conflicts around hydroelectric projects, mining and high-voltage electricity pylons. PBI began accompanying CCC in 2010 due to the security risks faced by human rights defenders actively promoting the right to land, territory and natural resources in the region. 

COP21 Highlights the risks that land and environmental defenders face

PBI Honduras observers attend the Funeral of indigenous leader and land rights defender Juan MartinezOn Saturday 12 December 2015, delegates at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference signed the agreement that will form the core of the global response to climate change from the time it comes into force in 2020.

While the deal was hailed by many leaders and commentators as a remarkable diplomatic success for its ambitious warming targets, representatives from indigenous nations around the world took to the streets of Paris to draw attention to the key clauses that had been removed: those that made binding commitments to the protection of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples in climate change solutions. In the final text, all references to these rights were relegated to the non-binding, aspirational words of the preamble.

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