Environmental Conservationists Dying the World Over as Global Witness Reports


Revealing data from across the world depicts that several environmental conservationists are being murdered for resisting environmental damage.


Revealing data from across the world depicts that several environmental conservationists are being murdered for resisting environmental damage. It becomes significant that an insight into the neo-liberal developmental agenda centred on unprecedented market growth is inquired into to assess its effects on environment.

Kavya | The New Leam

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In the world we witness a growing competition for land and other natural resources. The world has witnessed several environmental conservationists being killed. Disputes related to mining, logging and agriculture lead to several deaths. Brazil witnessed the maximum number deaths.

Global Witness has been involved in the publication of reports on murder of environmentalists since 2012. It works in collaboration with several sources, media, organisation and the UN.  The Report suggests that the world is hostile to environmental activism and India as a nation is hostile to environmentalists. The Report suggests that along with Columbia and Democratic Republic of Congo, India is a nation where the ambience is inhospitable to environmental activism.

Huge deforestation in India during the last two years, aggravating an already strained ecology. / Image Source: IndiaCelebrating

It was reported that sixteen activist working with Adivasis were killed in India in 2016. Several of the activists who were killed were working in the mining and logging industries. The hostility towards environmental activist is a result of terming environmental workers as anti-development or Maoists. The Report shows that hostility for environmentalists is consequence of the denial of community bases aspirations in the national development project.

The people who are greatly depending upon the ecology to meet their daily needs are largely impacted if ecological endowments are exploited in an unprecedented manner. The culture of impunity, the issues related to environment have led to several issues in the area of ecological conservation. The global conflicts are taking shape as restless capitalism is exploiting resources in poor countries. In the absence of strong legislations to regulate environmental degradation, the lack of public sensitivity and the climate of allowing development initiatives that are insensitive to ecological requirements leads to environmental degradation and issues for environmental conservationists.

More than four environmental defenders were killed per week in 2107. About 197 people were killed in 2107 for defending land resources, the wildlife and other natural resources.

Globally we are seeing an unprecedented decline in the environment. Ecological damage is no more a text bookish concept that students debate about in their formative years, instead it has become one of the critical issues that the globe is experiencing today. Rapid industrialisation, mining, ruthless exploitation of natural resources, destruction of water bodies and soil erosion, high levels of pollutants being disposed in the air, deforestation and a host of several aspects lead to environmental degradation across the world.

It is ironic that in a world where people are aware of the issues centred over ecology, where several institutions and environmental bodies are raising awareness among people on altered life choices-there is rampant attack on environmentalists. The data from 2017 portrays that more than four environmental defenders were killed per week in 2107. About 197 people were killed in 2107 for defending land resources, the wildlife and other natural resources (Global Witness Data). The data reveals how several activists involved in environmental conservation were killed worldwide. The toll was 197 in 2017. 

It is paradoxical that with extensive economic exploitation of natural resources those who work for conservation are being murdered. The lack of corporate partnership in ecological protection and ineffectiveness of governmental action have led to the issues. Most of the murders took place in forest area in developing nations in Latin America. Several industries are involved in extracting natural resources and see environmental conservationist as obstacles. Mining related conflicts lead to the killings if 36 environmentalists.

Source: Lok Sabha

The 2016 Global Witness Data showed that mining and oil lead to great conflicts. It led to the killing of 33 conversations, logging conflict lead to death of 23 followed by agriculture. The condition is severely tense in under developed and developing countries like Brazil, Columbia, Philippine’s. Latin America was the most indifferent country for environmental activists.

The environmentalist who are involved in wildlife conservation are facing issues ad more than 8oo park rangers have been killed by commercial poachers and armed military groups over the last 1o years, according to Global Conservation.

The report also suggests that ecological resistance is being oppressed across the world. In India there is a threefold increase in the number of land defenders being killed, it ranks the fourth in the world. More than 24 countries across the world are succumbing this concern.

In India the report suggests that there is a disturbing statistics of police brutality against any group that raises opposition to developmental projects. Globally environmental activist have been labelled as criminals and face trials because of allegations by companies or governments. It is ironic that in spite of great ecological exploitation, ecological workers are not allowed to raise public opinion related to the themes and assist nation-states in formulated policies that lead to sustainable development.

The ecological movements taking shape across the world in contemporary era remind people of the great destruction that restless capitalism is leading to- damaging rivers, land, climate and natural endowments. The environmental conservationist dedicates themselves to the issue of ecological preservation, it is significant that the nation-states must collaborate and work in a way that environmental sustainability and development happen in reciprocal fashion.


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