Demand Investigation into Killings of Environmental Activists

Land Rights

Target: Governments of the Philippines, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia

Goal: Investigate the killings of environmental activists.

711 individuals have been killed within the last decade in response to their attempts to defend land and forest rights, according to a new report released by the international NGO Global Witness. The number of killings of environmental activists per year has almost doubled over the past three years, with 106 taking place in 2011 alone. Since the Philippines, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia saw the highest numbers of killings, it is imperative that their governments conduct thorough investigations into the crimes and take action to protect environmental activists as well as the land and forest rights that they seek to defend.

The report points to an alarming lack of information surrounding the killings and consequently concludes that the numbers released most likely underestimate the problem. Despite the high number of crimes, few of the individuals responsible for the killings have been convicted. Not only have national and international law enforcement agencies failed to effectively monitor the problem, but the news media has done little to investigate and report on it as well.

“The international community must stop perpetuating this vicious contest for forests and land,” said Billy Kyte, a campaigner at Global Witness. “It has never been more important to protect the environment and it has never been more deadly.”

As natural resources become more and more limited, the importance of protecting environmental activists and landowners will continue to grow. Governments must take action to ensure that individuals can voice their concern over land use practices and the allocation of scarce natural resources.

Taking the first step toward justice surrounding environmental conflicts calls for governments to investigate past killings and convict the individuals responsible. By signing the petition below, you will help to ensure that the use of our remaining natural resources is fair and open. Take action to demand protection for environmental activists.

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PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Benigno Aquino III, President Dilma Rousseff, President Ollanta Humala, and President Juan Santos,

According to a new report by Global Witness, 711 individuals have been killed within the last decade in response to their attempts to defend land and forest rights. The number of killings of environmental activists per year has almost doubled over the past three years, with 106 taking place in 2011 alone.

I would like to call your attention to the problem because your country was among those with the highest number of deaths. Furthermore, I understand that despite the high number of crimes, few of the individuals responsible for the killings have been convicted.

As natural resources become more and more limited, the importance of protecting environmental activists and landowners will continue to grow. I hope that you will take action to ensure that the use of our remaining natural resources is fair and open. I urge you to conduct thorough investigations into the recent killings in order to uphold the rights of citizens to voice their concern over land use practices and the allocation of scarce natural resources.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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862 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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