• Overview
  • Invitation (English)
  • Convite (Portuguese)

Launch of the UN Environmental Rights Initiative from 0930 – 1500 hrs

Environmental rights are enshrined in over 100 constitutions yet almost four people a week are killed defending those rights, while many more are harassed, intimidated and forced from their lands. Around 40-50 percent of the 197 environmental defenders killed in 2017 came from indigenous and local communities.

But the environmental defenders’ crisis is not confined to indigenous communities. Violations of environmental rights are on the rise worldwide fueled by corruption, greater competition for natural resources, weak enforcement, and the irresponsible exploitation of land and other natural goods.

The links between human rights and the environment are rapidly gaining recognition at the international level, including through the adoption of groundbreaking UN Human Rights Council Resolutions on Human Rights and the Environment and on Environmental Human Rights Defenders, as well as a UN General Assembly Resolution on the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The UN’s Environmental Rights Initiative is bringing environmental protection nearer to the people by helping them to better understand their rights and how to defend them; by working with media to improve coverage of rights issues; by calling on the private sector to move beyond a culture of compliance to one where environmental rights are championed; and by assisting governments to implement environmental rights obligations.

Learn more about human rights and the environment:

Advancing environmental rights

United Nations Mandate on Human Rights and the Environment

Environmental Rights Database

Watch: Environmental Defenders (English)

Watch: Environmental Defenders (Spanish)

Watch: Environmental Defenders (Portuguese)

Read the Global Witness annual report on environmental defenders here.

Learn more about environmental defenders: Environment Rights

For more information contact: Niamh Brannigan, Communications Officer for Environmental Governance +254 717 733348, niamh.brannigan[at]un.org

Invitation (English)

Invitation (Portuguese)

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The United Nations System in Brazil and its partners are pleased to invite you for the launch of the UN Environmental Rights Initiative, a global strategy that aims to bring environmental protection nearer to the people, their spokespeople and leaders, by assisting state and civil society actors to promote, protect and respect environmental rights.

The moment could not be more appropriate, in this year that marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Global Witness, at least 207 defenders were murdered in 2017. Latin America accounted for 60% of the cases and Brazil had the highest number of deaths ever recorded in one year in any country, with 57 people. It's time to talk about it. And to take action.

Watch: Environmental Defenders Video (English)

event schedule english


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Download: Invitation (English)

Watch: Environmental Defenders (English)

O Sistema das Nações Unidas no Brasil e seus parceiros têm o prazer de convidar para o lançamento da Inciativa da ONU de Direitos Ambientais, uma estratégia que visa levar a proteção do ambiente para perto das pessoas, seus porta-vozes e líderes, auxiliando atores estatais e da sociedade civil a promover, proteger e respeitar os direitos ambientais.

Watch: Environmental Defenders Video (Portuguese)

event schedule portuguese



Invitation (Portuguese)