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Mon Sep 13, 2021, 11:25 PM

Murders of environment and land defenders hit record high

Source: The Guardian

Murders of environment and land defenders hit record high

Figures from Global Witness for 2020 show violent resource grab continued unabated despite pandemic

Jonathan Watts
@jonathanwatts
Mon 13 Sep 2021 00.01 BST

Murders of environment and land defenders hit a record high last year as the violent resource grab in the global south continued unabated despite the pandemic.

New figures released by Global Witness show that 227 people were killed in 2020 while trying to protect forests, rivers and other ecosystems that their livelihoods depended on.

All but one of the deadly attacks took place outside North America, Europe and Oceania. The authors say environment-related conflict is, like the climate crisis, disproportionately affecting lower-income nations. Indigenous communities suffered more than a third of the killings, despite accounting for only 5% of the world population.

“On average, our data shows that four defenders have been killed every week since the signing of the Paris climate agreement [in 2016],” the report says. “As the climate crisis deepens, forest fires rampage across swathes of the planet, drought destroys farmland, and floods leave thousands dead, the situation for frontline communities and defenders of the Earth is getting worse.”

The annual tally of the dead has risen for the past two years and is now twice the level of 2013. This is still thought to be an underestimate because the calculation depends on transparency, press freedom and civil rights, which vary considerably from country to country.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/13/murders-environment-land-defenders-record-high

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