PBI-Canada calls on Canadian government to back the Escazú Agreement to protect environmental defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

The Escazú Agreement is the first legally binding treaty to include specific provisions to protect environmental defenders.

Twenty-three countries (two-thirds of the countries) in Latin America and the Caribbean have now signed the Escazú Agreement. Ten of those countries have ratified the deal, meaning only one more country needs to ratify it before it is implemented.

To send a message to Prime Minister Trudeau asking his government to encourage ratification of the agreement prior to the crucial next meeting of signatory countries scheduled for December 9-10, please click here.

Where are the countries that PBI provides accompaniment to environmental defenders in the process of the ratification of the agreement?

Colombia filed the Escazú Agreement with Congress in July. It will be debated there and then reviewed by the Constitutional Court which will take a few months. The Duque government initially opposed the agreement, but now backs it. Support for the agreement was one of the demands of the national strike protests in 2019.

In Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent the agreement to the Senate in mid-August. There appears to be hope it will be ratified.

While Guatemala has signed the agreement, the process of its ratification has stagnated under President Alejandro Giammattei.

Honduras has not signed Escazú, but social and environmental organizations continue to insist on the importance of the agreement.

In September 2018, Peace Brigades International endorsed the Escazú Agreement as “a means to guarantee a safe environment in which individuals, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights related to the environment can act without facing threats, restrictions, attacks or danger.”

PBI-Colombia and PBI-Mexico have also publicly endorsed the agreement.

To send your message to Prime Minister Trudeau, please click here.

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