Peace Brigades International signs joint letter to UN COP28 on the protection of frontline environmental defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Indigenous environmental defender Quinto Inuma Alvarado was shot and killed in Peru on the eve of COP28.

This open letter signed by 102 organizations, including Peace Brigades International, notes: “We represent a wide range of movements and organisations, working for climate justice, human rights including Indigenous Peoples rights, labour rights, protection of Human Rights Defenders, and corporate accountability.”

It highlights:

– “Mining always comes with risks of human rights and environmental abuses. Over 510 allegations of abuses associated with top-producing mining operations of cobalt, copper, nickel, manganese, lithium, and zinc have been documented in the past decade – with one in four associated with attacks against human rights defenders. The extractive industry is the most dangerous sector for those voicing concerns – with little progress in bringing the drivers of these attacks to justice recorded to date.”

– “Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately affected, with more than 50% of the world reserves for transition minerals on or near Indigenous or peasants lands, while in 2022 they counted for 34% of all the environmental defenders killed in the world.”

– “We call on world leaders to commit to climate action [that includes] clear protection mechanisms for human rights and environmental defenders.”

The letter can be read in English here.

Indigenous environmental defender Quinto Inuma killed

Quinto Inuma, a well-known environmental defender and leader of the Kichwa community of Santa Rosillo de Yanayacu in the San Martin region of Peru who struggled against the deforestation of the Amazon, was shot and killed on November 29.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has tweeted: “The murder of Indigenous environmental defender Quinto Inuma on the eve of #COP28 exposes the disparity between words & action on defenders. Protection of Indigenous, human rights & environmental defenders must be at the core of climate action & the energy transition.”

The Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) adds: “Quinto joins the long list of more than 30 indigenous leaders who have been assassinated for defending their territories and fighting tirelessly against the illegal activities that plunder our Amazon. Added to this is the failure of Peruvian state institutions to implement protection mechanisms that truly guarantee the lives of Indigenous defenders.”

Webinar, December 7

Peace Brigades International is organizing a webinar on COP28 and environmental defenders that will take place on Thursday December 7.

To register for the webinar, click here.

The webinar will feature Wet’suwet’en land defender Eve Saint, Colombian water protector Yuli Velasquez, Global Witness policy advisor Javier Garate, and Climate Action Network-Canada activist Emily Lowan who will join us from COP28 in Dubai.

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