It has just been announced that 24 representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries met in Costa Rica over the weekend and adopted the world’s first binding agreement to protect the human rights of environmental defenders.

This means

  • Measures will be taken to prevent, investigate and punish attacks against environmental defenders
  • People will have the right to participate in environmental decisions that affect them
  • People and organisations promoting and defend human rights in environmental matters are free from threats

Globally in 2017 almost 4 environmental defenders and indigenous people were killed each week trying protect their land, wildlife and resources, half of these occurring in Latin American.

The agreement will be open to signatures from all 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries and will come into force after it has been ratified by at least 8 member states.

Catherine Bearder, Chair of MEPs for Wildlife said:

“This is a huge step forward

“Environmental defenders are essential in protecting the environment, biodiversity, and fighting against crime and poverty. They are the eyes and ears in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

“It is vital that the rest of the world including the EU follows the example of Latin America we must give legal protection to all environmental defenders and indigenous people.”


Notes to Editors