Climate and Environment

13 Sept 2021

Environmental Activists Killings on the Rise

Environmental Activists Killings on the Rise

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A record number of environmentalists working to protect lands have been murdered in the last year. According to reports by Global Witness, approximately 227 people were killed in last year alone, making it the highest number of deaths for a second consecutive year.

Most of the deaths were linked to mining, land rights, logging, hydroelectric dams and agribusinesses. Environmentalists are popularly known as land defenders as they were killed for protecting the natural environment and fighting for rights.

Global Witness has reported that on average four environmentalist activists are killed every week since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. Most murders occurred with links to the logging industry in places such as Brazil, Peru, Philippines and Nicaragua. This industry is notorious for its growing violence against land defenders.

Columbia ranked as the most dangerous for environmentalists with 6 deaths recorded. Mexico took the second spot where 30 defenders were murdered. Among the dead was Oscar Eyraud Adams, a man from Kumiai territory who protested against the diverted water sources that led to his crops drying out.

Chris Madden, a senior Campaigner at Global Witness said, “Governments should get serious about protecting defenders and must start putting people and planet before profit.” He continued to say that climate breakdown and killings will continue if no steps are taken.

Individuals fighting for climate control and the environment risk their lives every day. Governments across the world must recognize their efforts and provide security.