On International Women’s Day, Global Witness highlights women land & environmental defenders

Author: Global Witness, Published on: 9 March 2020

"Celebrating the women who are protecting the planet", 6 mars 2020

Women land and environmental defenders are absolutely vital to the fight against the climate crisis...women defenders take leadership roles in action against mining, logging, agribusiness and other destructive industries...they’re still excluded from land ownership and discussions about the future of their communities’ natural resources...they are also subject to sexual violence while they also risk their lives for standing up to destruction. That’s why on International Women’s Day, we celebrate defenders who have inspired us, those who keep challenging... Berta Cáceres [ killed on 2 March 2016] dedicated several years to protecting her community’s land in Intibucá...said, “Mother Nature – militarised, fenced-in, poisoned – demands that we take action”... Derek Cabe [The Philippines] as coordinator at the Coal-Free Bataan Movement, has been helping to organise community members with these complaints...bringing them together to help protect clean air and the environment...Derek and other anti-coal activists in the region experience harassment, intimidation and attacks... Gillian Kelly, from Lancashire, UK, is part of a group of protestors who have been fighting for the last two years to stop shale gas extraction (fracking) from destroying their rural village community...[She said]...she decided to stand up for the environment and against the damaging effects of fossil fuel extraction because of her love of nature - despite the risks of criminalisation... Krystal Two Bulls [Usa]...stood as a Water and Land Protector. She also founded Voices of the Sacred, an indigenous youth organisation...Krystal became the target of legal attacks by a major energy company for speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline...[She said]..."I think centering our voices… to be able to do the job that we were put here to do, which is steward this land, I think that is the only way forward."... Ercilia is part of an indigenous women’s organisation protecting their land and the environment in Guatemala...‘‘Since the company came to bring problems, well, things are different now...And this is a big problem that affects us."...Despite the threats, Ercilia says the community will keep voicing their demands.

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