Land and environmental rights defenders remain in danger as COP26 set to meet virtually from May 31 to June 17

Published by Brent Patterson on

Four environmental human rights defenders have been killed every week since the COP21 summit in December 2015.

The Guardian reports: “On Thursday night, the decision-making body of Cop26 – made up of the UN, the UK and representatives of developing and developed countries – ruled that governments should hold a three-week long virtual meeting from 31 May to 17 June, to begin negotiations and hammer out agreements on key aspects of the talks.”

That article adds: “But countries will still have to wait until they meet in person to rubber stamp any decisions.” That in person meeting of COP26 remains scheduled for November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The climate crisis and human rights

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has warned that the climate crisis is greatest ever threat to human rights.

The UN Human Rights Council has further stated: “Environmental human rights defenders must be ensured a safe and enabling environment to undertake their work free from hindrance and insecurity in recognition of their important role in supporting States to fulfil their obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

PBI-Canada in collaboration with other PBI entities continues to follow the situation for human rights defenders in the lead-up to COP26.

We believe that guarantees and protection mechanisms for threatened land and environmental human rights defenders should be incorporated in the text of any climate agreement.


To join a webinar on Thursday April 29 at 3:30 pm EDT that will discuss Canada’s involvement in fracking in Colombia, the death threats faced by opponents of fracking in Colombia, and a proposed law to ban fracking in Colombia consistent with its obligations as a signatory of the Paris agreement, please click here.

The webinar features these four Colombian social leaders opposed to fracking. All of them have received death threats for their activism.

Colombian land and environmental rights defenders Ivan Madero, Yuli Velasquez, Oscar Sampayo andYuvelis Natalia Morales.

Categories: News Updates


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