This report looks at known killings of people defending environmental and land rights. It identifies a clear rise in such deaths from 2002 and 2013 as competition for natural resources intensifies. In the most comprehensive global analysis of the problem on record, we have found that at least 908 people have died in this time. Disputes over industrial logging, mining and land rights are the key drivers, and Latin America and Asia-Pacific particularly hard hit.
Deadly Environment also highlights a severe shortage of information or monitoring of this problem, meaning the total is likely to be higher than the report documents. This lack of attention is feeding endemic levels of impunity, with just over one per cent of the perpetrators known to have been convicted.
Overall, the report shows how it has never been more important to protect the environment, and it has never been more deadly. It calls on national governments and the international community to act urgently to protect the environment and the citizens who defend it.
Global Witness campaigns to end the unfair and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, so that all can thrive within the planet’s boundaries. We address the root causes of the exploitation that destroys lives and threatens life-supporting ecosystems.
*A time lag on reporting means killings for 2013 are likely to be higher than we have been able to show here.