Category Archives: Environmental activism

Kenya's 'Erin Brockovich' defies harassment to bring anti-pollution case to courts

Phyllis Omido is leading a landmark class action demanding a clean-up and compensation from a lead-smelting factory accused of poisoning local residents – including her own son

Eight years after her baby was lead-poisoned through breast milk, Kenya’s most prominent anti-pollution campaigner is set to finally get her day in court in a case that the UN hopes will prove a landmark for environmental defenders across Africa.

Phyllis Omido has been threatened by thugs, arrested by police and forced into hiding for organising opposition to a lead-smelting factory in Mombasa, which allegedly poisoned residents in the neighbouring shantytown of Owino Uhuru.

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Source: gad

Almost four environmental defenders a week killed in 2017

Exclusive: 197 people killed last year for defending land, wildlife or natural resources, new Global Witness data reveals. In recording every defender’s death, the Guardian hopes to raise awareness of the deadly struggle on the environmental frontline

The slaughter of people defending their land or environment continued unabated in 2017, with new research showing almost four people a week were killed worldwide in struggles against mines, plantations, poachers and infrastructure projects.

The toll of 197 in 2017 – which has risen fourfold since it was first compiled in 2002 – underscores the violence on the frontiers of a global economy driven by expansion and consumption.

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Source: gad

'A rabbit always has to run': Spanish rangers fear for lives after double murder

The killing of two rangers in Catalonia a year ago this week, marked a chilling turning point for colleagues facing up to increasing violence towards Europe’s wildlife defenders

On a hill above the olive trees and dun scrublands of western Catalonia, two rusty iron silhouettes maintain a still and silent vigil. One peers out over the land through a pair of binoculars; the other kneels and holds a bird forever on the cusp of release.

At their feet is a simple plaque: “In memory and recognition of Xavier Ribes Villas and David Iglesias Díez, wildlife rangers whose lives were taken in the line of duty on 21 January 2017.”

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Source: gad

Battle for the mother land: indigenous people of Colombia fighting for their lands

The 50-year civil war is over but, in the Cauca Valley, indigenous communities are on frontline of fight against drug gangs, riot police and deforestation

In pictures: Colombia’s land battles shatter the peace in Cauca Valley

A green-and-red flag flies over a cluster of bamboo and tarpaulin tents on the frontline of an increasingly deadly struggle for land and the environment in Colombia’s Cauca Valley.

It is the banner for what indigenous activists are calling the “liberation of Mother Earth”, a movement to reclaim ancestral land from sugar plantations, farms and tourist resorts that has gained momentum in the vacuum left by last year’s peace accord between the government and the leftwing guerrillas who once dominated the region – ending, in turn, the world’s longest-running civil war.

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Source: gad