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Article

EU Parliament adopts Resolution on protecting environmental & climate change defenders from state and corporate abuses

'The effects of climate change on human rights and the role of environmental defenders on this matter', 19 May 2021

[T]he impacts of climate change and continued environmental degradation on freshwater resources, ecosystems, and the livelihoods of communities are already negatively affecting the effective enjoyment of human rights, including the rights to life, food security, safe drinking water and sanitation, health, housing, self-determination, work and development... COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns have reduced transparency and monitoring of human rights violations, and have intensified political intimidation and digital surveillance, while limiting access to justice and the abilities of environmental defenders, local actors, indigenous communities and others to effectively participate in decision-making processes...

[The European Parliament]

  • Calls on the Commission to ensure that the EU does not support initiatives and projects that would lead to illegal land grabs, illegal logging and deforestation or other such damaging impacts on the environment...
  • Strongly condemns the increase in the number of murders, defamatory attacks, acts of persecution, criminalisation, imprisonment, harassment and intimidation against indigenous people and environmental human rights activists and land defenders worldwide and calls for those responsible to be held accountable...
  • Calls for the EU and its Member States to support all human rights defenders, notably environmental rights defenders and their legal representatives, and to draw attention to their cases when necessary; is convinced that support for environmental rights defenders should be increased and that any reprisal or attack against them by corporate or state actors should be condemned by the EU through public statements and local actions when appropriate...
  • Calls on the EU and its Member States to request and ensure that the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples is respected, without coercion, in any agreement or development project that may affect the lands, territories or natural assets...