UN Initiative aims to assist businesses overcome culture of compliance in attacks on defenders

Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Instituto Igarapé in Climate Diplomacy (Germany), Published on: 20 December 2018

"UN Initiative for Environmental Defenders and the Role of Environmental Diplomacy", 4 Dec 2018

In order to help address escalating violence, UN Environment has launched the UN Initiative for Environmental Defenders. This brief analyses the initiative and looks into how member states can support peace by engaging in environmental diplomacy, with a focus on Brazil. 

Threats, restrictions and violence against environmental defenders are on the rise globally. Brazil is a particularly striking case of rising environmental crimes, primarily in its Amazon region. In 2017, 57 environmental activists were assassinated in the country. In order to help address escalating violence, UN Environment has launched the UN Initiative for Environmental Defenders. The initiative aims to assist states in upholding environmental rights and navigating the growing wave of violence against environmental activists.

Next to a case study on the situation in Brazil, this brief includes an overview of the UN initiative‘s objectives and approach as well as options for member states to offer support through environmental diplomacy.

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