Environmental killings are murders or assassinations linked to environmental issues such as illegal logging, mining, land grabbing, and pollution. Victims have included not only environmental and land rights activists, but also members of indigenous communities and journalists who have reported on these issues.
According to Global Witness, the number of environmental killings worldwide reached 147 in 2012, and the total number of such murders between 2002 and 2013 exceeds 908. In only six of these cases were the killers tried, convicted and punished. The report blames this level of impunity, together with the lack of attention to the issue, for the rise in the numbers of deaths.
In March 2014, when the United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, John Knox, presented his first detailed report to the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights obligations relating to environmental protection he stated: “Environmental human rights defenders deserve no less protection than other human rights defenders.”
List of environmental killings
Following is a partial list of the victims of environmental killings:
- Philippines: Jojo Malinao, Philip Pestaño
|July 8, 1905||Guy Bradley||United States||Birds protection|
|July 8, 1905||Vicente Cañas||Brazil||Protection of Enawene Nawe people land|
|July 21, 1980||Wilson Pinheiro||Brazil||Preservation of the Amazon rainforest|
|July 10, 1985||Fernando Pereira||New Zealand||Protest against nuclear testing|
|April 6, 1987||Vicente Cañas||Brazil|
|December 22, 1988||Chico Mendes||Brazil||Preservation of the Amazon rainforest|
|6 February 1995||Jeanette Kawas||Honduras||Protests again palm plantations and dams|
|10 November 1995||Ken Saro-Wiwa||Nigeria||nonviolent campaign against environmental degradation caused by crude oil extraction|
In 21st century, more than 1000 environmental activists have been killed. Every year, more than 100 environmental activists are murdered throughout the world. 116 environmental activists were assassinated in 2014. More than two environmentalists were assassinated every week in 2014 and three every week in 2015. 185 environmental activists were assassinated in 2015. More than 200 environmental activists were assassinated worldwide between 2016 and 2018.
|September 17, 2003||Jane Tipson||Saint Lucia||Conservationist and animal rights activism.|
|12 February 2005||Dorothy Stang||Brazil||Preservation of the Amazon rainforest|
|January 24 2011||Gerry Ortega||Philippines|
|May 24, 2011||José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva||Brazil||Preservation of the Amazon rainforest|
|16 August 2011||Shehla Masood||India||RTI and environmental activism|
|26 April 2012||Chut Wutty||Cambodia||Critics of the military's alleged role in illegal logging|
|11 September 2012||Hang Serei Odom||Cambodia||Reports about illegal logging industry|
|13 March 2013||Perween Rahman||Pakistan||Reports about illegal logging industry|
|May 31, 2013||Jairo Mora Sandoval||Costa Rica||Protection leatherback turtle nests|
|25 August 2015||Raimundo Santos Rodrigues (and his wife)||Brazil||Environmental rights defender.|
|13 October 2016 ||Luiz Alberto Araújo||Brazil|
|3 March 2016||Berta Cáceres||Honduras||Protests against the construction of Agua Zarca Dam.|
- Global Witness. 2014. Deadly Environment. The dramatic rise of killings of environmental and land defenders 1.1.2012-31.12.2013. Global Witness, London., retrieved 16 July 2014
- Revkin, A. When Journalists Are Dying to Expose Environmental Plunder. New York Times.17 September 2012, retrieved 16 April 2014
- Reporters Without Borders. 2009. The Dangers for Journalists Who Report Environmental Issues. Paris. September 2009 Archived 2010-03-31 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 16 April 2014
- EJF.2003. Smash & Grab: Conflict, Corruption and Human Rights Abuses in the Shrimp Farming Industry. Environmental Justice Foundation, London, UK, retrieved 16 April 2014
- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2014. UN expert urges States to take into account human rights obligations in their environmental policies. 11 March 2014., retrieved 16 April 2014
- "Environmental human rights defenders: emerging challenges and solutions - Universal Rights Group". Universal Rights Group. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "Map: 116 environmental activists were killed in just one year". Grist.org. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- Stout, David. "Environmental Activists Killed in Record Numbers in 2014". Time.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Killings of land and environmental defenders in 2015 | Global Witness". Global Witness. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
- Holmes, Oliver; correspondent, South-east Asia (20 June 2016). "Environmental activist murders set record as 2015 became deadliest year". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Cambodian forest defenders killed after confronting illegal loggers". The Guardian. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- "Why are Brazil's environmentalists being murdered?". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Killings of environmental activists jumped by 20 percent last year". News.mongabay.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
- Sandy, Matt (24 October 2016). "Murder of Brazil official marks new low in war on Amazon environmentalists". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2018.