2015 was the deadliest year for environmentalist

Published by Marie-Amélie Brun on

20th of May, 2016

A hundred and eighty five activists, or one every two days, have been murdered all over the world in the past year. Today a report from the NGO Global Witness was published, announcing that 2015 had been the deadliest year for environmentalists.

As the international community is realising the importance of protecting our environment, the fight increases particularly in regions where indigenous communities lose their lands. They are the most affected communities as they live in regions that contain potential resources used for industry. Far from the new western activists the victims are members of indigenous communities living in those lands for generations.

There has been a significant amount of environmental activists murdered in the southern hemisphere of the planet, especially in countries like Brazil there has been  50 murders, in the Philippines there has been 33, and in Colombia there has been 26 .

Land appropriation has always been a subject of conflict and it continues to be in 2015 as it says in the report. The Amazonian forest is one of the trouble spots because of the high level of animal exploitation, biofuels, soy… The loss in term of biodiversity is huge but also in the way humans lives are affected. Communities are forced to abandon their way of life, also their traditions (that are linked with the lands) and at times it ends in their deaths.

In December 2015, in Brazil, Isídio Antonio was killed after receiving death threats for refusing to give up his land for landowners. Similar situation happened in the Philippines, where mining companies try to take possession of lands owned by communities. Michelle Campos father’s and grand father’s were killed during an attack that resulted in the expropriation of 3,000 people.

This situation is a reflection of the current state of our world that is driven by economic profits. However with climate change and the loss of biodiversity that we are facing, there is a great need for change in this area.

Global witness is now demanding for protection for activists, investigation of the crimes committed against them, supporting their cause and resolving the underlying causes of violence.

death 2015


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Categories: News

Marie-Amélie Brun

Marie-Amélie is a contributor to the Green News. She is currently completing a Masters in International Cooperation and Multilingual Communication at the University Grenoble Alpes.