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Environmental conflicts and defenders

A new article presents the largest analysis of environmental conflicts up to date with findings that have direct implications for enhanced support of environmental defenders.

3rd June 2020

There is a world movement for environmental justice, composed of a myriad of local movements against fossil fuels extraction, open cast mining, tree plantations, hydropower dams and other extractive industries, and also against waste disposal in the form of incineration or dumps.

This is the environmentalism of the poor and the indigenous. It took the name 'environmental justice' in the South of the United States in the 1980s, from movements against the unjust, disproportionate socio-environmental impacts in areas predominantly inhabited by Black, Hispanic and Indigenous populations.

Environmental defenders who protest destructive resource uses are indeed a promising force for global sustainability and environmental justice. However, their activism comes at a heavy cost: many face criminalization, violence and murder.

Policies

These are the findings of a new paper from the EnvJustice team based on the EJAtlas, which presents the largest analysis of environmental conflicts up to date with findings that have direct implications for enhanced support of environmental defenders.

The article, published in Global Environmental Change, looks at nearly 3,000 cases worldwide. The bulk of the information on this movement comes from activists rather than academics.

Highlights are:

Why are there so many environmental conflicts worldwide?

Environmental defenders, particularly indigenous peoples, often confront violence

How often are such grassroots movements successful in defending the environment?

 

SOURCE: You can read the full article on the ECOLOGIST website

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