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The guardians of the territory – at the European Development Days 2019

On Tuesday, 18 June 2019 at 15:15,, in partnership with the European Union External Action Service and the International Land Coalition, will organise a panel at the European Development Days 2019, under the title 'The guardians of the territory – Strengthening international solidarity and support to indigenous peoples and environmental human rights defenders'.

This lab-debate session will be moderated by Luisa Ragher, Head of the Human Rights Division at the EEAS, and will include the participation of Sabine Pallas – Partnerships officer at the ILC- and the testimonies and experience of WHRDs Joan Carling -an indigenous rights activist and environmental defender from the Philippines, Luz Stella Matutina – known for her anti-mining advocacy and work for the rights of the native population in the Philippines, and Ariane Assemat – of Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan in Mexico.

Register today to the European Development Days 2019

Indigenous peoples and environmental human rights defenders are today under menace: environmental degradation driven by political and economic interests aggravates inequality and impacts on communities, who are denied basic rights and face repression. Indigenous peoples and environmental human rights defenders are at the forefront of the defence of their territories, notably against projects that exploit natural resources, and there is growing evidence that full legal ownership of land by indigenous peoples is key to preserving biodiversity and combating poverty and climate change. However in 2017, at least 207 environmental human rights defenders were killed. As harmful practices and policies are posing increasing threats, this session will build awareness on the importance of the contribution of the defenders of the territory to sustainable development. Through case stories of, this panel will debate new strategies to defend and increase solidarity to those risking their lives to protect the most precious heritage on our planet.