Sumary of Report: 2020 is deadliest year for `environmental defenders’:
- LONDON (AP) — At least 227 people died last year defending their homes, land and livelihoods from environmental exploitation as the deepening climate crisis increasingly pits economic interests against local communities, according to data compiled by the environmental group Global Witness.
- The total is the highest since Global Witness began gathering information about attacks on “environmental defenders” in 2012. Almost a third of the deaths were linked to resource exploitation, such as mining, logging and dam projects.
- “It has become clear that the unaccountable exploitation and greed driving the climate crisis is also driving violence against land and environmental defenders,” Global Witness said as it published its report.
- Colombia recorded the highest number of deaths for the second year in a row, with 65. Mexico recorded 30 and the Philippines 29.The findings from Global Witness are horrific but expected, said Mary Lawlor, the U.N.
- ”The threat to environmental defenders has risen steadily since Global Witness’s first report in 2012, when it counted 147 killings worldwide.
- “They’re at risk because they find themselves living on or near something that some corporation is demanding,” Bill McKibben, a leading climate change author and a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont, wrote in a forward to the report.