PBI-Honduras highlights that land and territory defenders contribute to the global fight against climate change

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 17, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “The defence of forests, water sources and access to land as a livelihood contributes to the global fight against climate change. The work of land and territory defenders must be recognized, protected and supported.”

PBI-Honduras has also cited an article in El Pais and commented: “The fact that Honduras is one of the areas most affected by the climate change within Latin America shows once again the importance of the work provided by land and territory defenders, criminalized for their work in defense of common goods.”

Front Line Defenders has reported that 331 human rights defenders were killed around the world in 2020. 69 per cent of those killed worked on land, environmental or indigenous peoples’ rights, while 26 per cent were working specifically on Indigenous peoples’ rights.

And Global Witness has noted that 14 land and environmental defenders were killed in Honduras in 2019. Their report released in July 2020 highlighted: “In Honduras killings rose from 4 in 2018 to 14 last year, making it the most dangerous country per capita for land and environmental defenders in 2019. It is the country with the greatest percentage increase in lethal attacks against activists.”

COP26 and environmental defenders

The UN COP26 climate summit is scheduled for November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland. Peace Brigades International continues to follow this with particular concern for the risks faced by human rights defenders challenging environmental breakdown.

On average 4 land and environmental defenders have been killed every week since the Paris climate agreement was reached at COP21 in Paris in December 2015.

In the lead-up to COP26, PBI-Canada is highlighting this UN Human Rights Council resolution that affirms: “Human rights defenders, including 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.”

Please follow us in the coming weeks and months for more on the relationship between climate change and human rights.

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