NGO Global Witness has published a report showing that 2019 had a record number of environmental protesters and activists killed world wide
Record number of environmental protesters and activists killed say Global Witness
According to a new report from NGO Global Witness, 212 environmental activists and protesters were killed during demonstrations last year, up from 164 in 2018. The report also estimates the real number to be far higher due to significant under reporting.
Colombia was the deadliest country in 2019 with 64 deaths, up from 24 in 2018 equating 30% of the global loss of life during environmental demonstrations last year.
The Philippines came in second, with 43 deaths, followed by Brazil at 24 where almost 90% of fatalities occurred in the Amazon regions.
Seven of the top ten worst affected nations were in Latin America, where more than two thirds of total killings took place. The region has consistently been the worst affected since Global Witness started gathering such data back in 2012.
Central American, Honduras saw the largest percentage increase in deaths, jumping from 4 in 2018 to 14 last year.
The EU remains the least affected region, with just 2 deaths, both in Romania, related to illegal logging.
Africa saw 7 deaths in 2019.
Mining protests was the deadliest sector, with 50 people killed, followed by agribusiness with 34.
Asia was a hotspot for deaths during agribusiness demonstrations, representing 85% of the global total deaths during agricultural-commerce related demonstrations. Of this number, nearly 90% took place in the Philippines.
There were also 24 fatalities related to logging, an 85% increase compared to 2018, the largest increase in any sector.
Central and South American Indigenous peoples were highly disproportionately affected. Some 40% of demonstration deaths were Indigenous, despite only making up an estimated 5% of the protesters.
Men too were disproportionately killed with male demonstrators making up 90% of fatalities.
“Agribusiness, oil, gas and mining have been consistently the biggest drivers of attacks against land and environmental defenders — and they are also the industries pushing us further into runaway climate change through deforestation and increasing carbon emissions,” Rachel Cox, campaigner at Global Witness, said in a press release.
Dayak Iban indigenous community in central Borneo, Indonesia, which now has legal ownership of 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of land, which it operated in a carbon neutral and renewable manner, after a struggle that lasted decades of demonstrations was highlighted in the report as one example of successful campaigning.
The Waorani indigenous tribe in Ecuador, which won a landmark ruling that bans the government from selling their lands for oil and gas exploration was also highlighted as a success story.
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Al-Sahawat Times than ever but advertising revenues across the global media industry are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a total paywall. We want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Al-Sahawat Times’ independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe truly ethical media and an unbias perspective really matters.
“I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.”
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, the future of ethical media and the futures of our staff and their families would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support Al-Sahawat Times and it only takes a minute. Thank you.
This story is available on:
Talk to a journalist
Follow Al-Sahawat Times
⬆️ Follow on Instagram
⬆️ Follow on Twitter
⬆️ Follow on LinkedIn
⬆️ Follow on Facebook
⬆️ Follow on YouTube
Read it on FLIPBOARD