Palawan, in the Philippines, contains one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse rainforests in the world. It is also one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a land defender.
Over the past decade, 270 land and environmental defenders were murdered in the Philippines - the worst country in Asia for recorded killings, according to Global Witness data.
The new documentary DELIKADO exposes the criminality and violence that lurks behind Palawan’s sunny façade – and honours those who put their life on the line to stop the destruction of its lush forests.
The battles being led by Bobby, Tata and Nieves are the same as those being fought by local communities in Brazil, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere around the world where corporations and governments are seeking to plunder increasingly valuable natural resources.
Guidelines for businesses to act responsibly remain voluntary for the most part, meaning violations of environmental and human rights continue to abound and the price for fighting back can be fatal.
However, we have a chance to turn the tide. The European Union is negotiating a law to turn corporate accountability into a reality.
With rules to hold businesses accountable, products sold in the European Union would no longer be tainted by suffering and destruction.
Sign the call: tell the EU to defend people and the planet and protect our future by holding businesses to account.
How can a new law hold companies to account and protect environmental defenders?
Earlier this month, we revealed how a new airport project in the Philippines has had devastating impacts on the communities, the environment and the climate.
Two Dutch companies are set to profit from the construction of the new mega-airport near Manila, which has displaced hundreds of families after armed soldiers went door-to-door leaving community members describing feeling “terrified”. Climate-critical mangrove forests have been destroyed, leaving nearby communities at flood risk.
These are exactly the sorts of risks to communities and threats to the environment that we’re pushing for companies to be obliged to prevent.
And a new law currently being negotiated by the European Union could make this a reality.
Unfortunately, it is under threat from business lobby groups who are trying to weaken it – and prevent companies from having to conduct the sort of environmental and human rights due diligence that could save the lives of environmental defenders.
At Global Witness, we’ve been campaigning for years for the European Union to pass a strong law that holds companies to account. As the negotiations on the law enter their final stretch this year, we need your support to tell the EU to help protect environmental defenders and pass a strong corporate accountability law. Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know about future actions which you can get involved in.