Civil Society Pushes for Binding Legislation on Protection of Environmental Defenders

August 6, 2018

“In 2017, almost four environmental defenders were killed each week for protecting their land, wildlife and natural resources,” begins a piece by the World Resources Institute. For environmental defenders, Latin America has consistently proven to be the most dangerous region with most murders occurring in rural areas and rainforests. To tackle this frightening phenomenon, civil society organizations have lobbied intensively for governments to ratify the Escazú Agreement, legislation that would become the first legally binding environmental human rights treaty in Latin America—guaranteeing increased protections for environmental defenders and expanding environmental civic education.

However, the agreement must be ratified by 11 governments in order to enter into force. At the 5th Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership, Latin American civil society members convened a meeting discuss strategies to pressure governments to sign and ratify the legislation before it is open for signatures on September 27, 2018. Learn more about efforts to ratify the Escazú Agreement here.