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Supporting Environmental Defenders in Latin America

ABA ROLI's Supporting Environmental Defenders in Latin America, is a 24-month program to strengthen regional capacities for coordinated interventions to respond, protect, and prevent human rights violations of Environmental Defenders. 

In Latin America, Environmental Defenders are at a higher risk for threats and assassinations. Additionally, there is a higher rate of impunity—as these crimes are increasingly not adequately investigated, and perpetrators are not brought to justice. Women face additional aggravated threats that are specific to their gender, ethnicity, origin, or other characteristics, such as sexual violence, public and political violence, and challenges to defend their right to speak out within their communities and families.

ABA ROLI will administer three specific objectives under the Supporting Environmental Defenders in Latin America program.  Each objective will be accomplished by completion of activities developed to strengthen, bolster and enhance the regional work of Environmental Defenders (ED) and Civil Service Organization (CSOs) leaders in the Amazonian regions of Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela. 

Objective 1

Strengthen environmental defender regional networks and their capacity to promote and pursue justice in environmental matters

  • Create a regional network for university legal clinics for data collection and shared legal resources for strategic litigation for defenders and their CSO networks at local, national, and regional levels;
  • Enhance existing alliances of collective action network of EDs and CSOs engaged in environmental justice to strengthen regional coordination;
  • Facilitate regional exchange events on international and regional agreements and initiatives, trends in the mining industries—legal and illegal, and accountability and responsibility of mining companies and corporations and national governments;
  • Provide grant funding to CSOs for advocacy, capacity development, prevention, and protection actions.

Objective 2

Bolster the ability of EDs to address gender specific threats and challenges in the field

  • Security training for EDs and CSO leaders at risk;
  • Provide Training of Trainers (ToT) security training to EDs and CSO leaders under threat.

Objective 3

Regionally enhance measures to prevent violence and increase accountability for violence against EDs and their CSO networks

  • Strengthen the implementation of existing regulatory frameworks for legal accountability for attacks against EDs at the national, regional, and international levels;
  • Support local advocacy efforts to ratify and/or implement relevant regional and international agreements and conventions regarding the protection of EDs.

Sustainable Outcomes

  • Meaningfully stem the violence against environmental defenders in Latin America
  • Enhance ED’s  capacity to hold governments accountable for enforcing environmental laws and implementing commitments outlined in relevant regional and international agreements 
  • Elevating and protecting the voice of environmental defenders