227 Environment Activists Killed in 2020, 4 in India: Report


Isravel Moses, Pankaj Kumar, Ranjan Kumar Das, Shubham Mani Tripathi— these Indians were among those 227 environment activists killed for defending their lans and environment.

By The Newster

Environment activists in global climate change strike (Pic: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

Approximately 227 environmental activists were killed in 2020 across the world according to a report by international NGO Global witness.

The NGO has doucemntaed murders of environmental activists across the globe. Global witness has been estimating the murder of people related to environmentalism since 2012 and the year 2020 has seen maximum number of killengs.

Maximum number of the deaths come from Columbia. Total 65 land and environemt defenders were murdered in the country alone.

Mexico reported 30 such killings in 2020 which is 67% more than that of 2019.

Philippines reported 29 murders, Brazil 20, Honduras 17, Congo 15, Guatemala 13, Nicaragua 12, Peru 4 and India 4.

India has seen drastic decrease in such cases with 4 killings in 2020. In 2017, India had reported 16 such killings. The group says that the findins of the report may not manifest real situation on the ground as the governments across the world were not able to monitor the incessant violence against environment defenders.

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“However, our data on killings does not capture the true scale of the problem. In some countries, the situation facing defenders is hard to gauge – restrictions on a free press, or where the independent monitoring of attacks on defenders is not taking place, can lead to underreporting. Land disputes and environmental damage, two of the prominent underlying causes behind communities’ activism, can also be difficult to monitor in parts of the world affected by conflict”, the report reads.

“We know that beyond killings, many defenders and communities also experience attempts to silence them, with tactics like death threats, surveillance, sexual violence, or criminalisation – and that these kinds of attacks are even less well reported”, the NGO says.

ISRAVEL MOSES, ANKAJ KUMAR, RANJAN KUMAR DAS, SHUBHAM MANI TRIPATHI these Indians were among those 227 people killed for defending their lans and environment.

Israel Moses, a 27-year-old journalist from Tamil Nadu was killed allegedly by the drug lords. The murder took place, probably, in the fallout of his reporting on on the sale of ganja (marijuana) and illegal encroachment of Poramboke (unassessed) lands.

“Meanwhile, the rest of us need to realize that the people killed each year defending their local places are also defending our shared planet—in particular our climate. The activities that flood our atmosphere with carbon—fossil fuel extraction and deforestation—are at the heart of so many of these killings”, says environmental activist and journalist Bill McKibben.

The reports also suggests that the governments of the have turned blind eyes to these killings and in some cases the authorites are somehow complicit of these lethal crimes against environment defenders.

“Governments have been all too willing to turn a blind eye and fail in providing their core mandate of upholding and protecting human rights. They are failing to protect defenders – in many cases directly perpetrating violence against them, and in others arguably complicit with business” says the report.

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