Actions and Detail Panel
Forest Defenders Conference
Wed, Jun 21, 2017, 9:00 AM – Thu, Jun 22, 2017, 5:00 PM BST
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Prof. John Knox, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment
In June we will come together with leading environmentalists, activists and investigators who are defending forests worldwide to hear their experiences and the challenges they face, aiming to identify barriers that prevent at-risk environmental defenders from accessing support, and to discuss and share strategies to support their work and security.
As global and national companies pursue the short-term and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, competition over land, forests and raw materials is increasingly fierce. Forests are disappearing, but across the world people resist these changes, in order to defend their sovereignty and to protect the natural environment. The risks they face continue to rise. In 2015, 185 environmental and land defenders were killed, more than double the number of journalists over the same period. How can we better understand the reality of the risks, and the barriers that prevent defenders from accessing support?
OUTLINE & ATTENDEES
This meeting will combine a keynote overview of the current crisis faced by environmental defenders, followed by presentations from activists, park rangers and illegal logging investigators detailing their work, the risks they face, and their experiences of intimidation, criminalisation and violence. Sharing practical experiences and expertise from a range of fields, inter-governmental organisations, environmental NGOs, activists, human rights groups, lawyers, media, security specialists and researchers will participate in lively panel discussions, sharing ideas, solutions and strategies. In the afternoon we will gather for topic tables to identify barriers to accessing / providing support, strategies and potential solutions. On Thursday 22nd June Tactical Technology Collective will run a follow-on practical workshop on digital security for activists and international allies. There will be take-away packs on digital security, and first aid kits for those involved in high risk work.
TICKETS & SUPPORT
Ticketing is on a sliding scale, by donation. Please don't let money be a reason not to join the event, most of all we want to hear your input and ideas!
£30 – will cover lunch and refreshments during the day
£70 – will also cover the cost of the venue
£110 – break even cost – to cover food, venue and speakers expenses
The ticket price you pay is entirely up to you. If your organization has the capacity to pay the full amount it will help us to break even on running costs for the day and ensures we can fully support the environmental defenders attending to speak. If you can give more, it will go towards supporting attendance of:
Anabela Carlon Flores, indigenous leader and lawyer who was kidnapped in December and later released in the fight against 'Mexico's DAPL' – a new pipeline in Northern Mexico threatening Yaqui lands.
Ouch Leng, Cambodian illegal logging investigator who has uncovered extensive corruption and forest crime, Goldman Prize Winner, 2016.
Sun Mala, Criminalised 24 year old Cambodian activist who was jailed for over ten months from August 2015–June 2016 following his activism to defend Koh Kong's mangrove forests from sand-dredging. Mala currently faces paying 25,000 USD 'compensation' to the very company which continues extracting sand – despite lack of any damage to the company or evidence of wrong-doing.
Northern Forests Defence Group – this activist group in Turkey is fighting for environmental rights under a repressive and unstable government. Building on the million-strong movement to defend Istanbul's Gezi park from development, a fight in which several people lost their lives, the Northern Forests Defence Group campaigns against mining and development projects that threaten Turkey's natural environment.
If you are an activist or student and the entry cost would prevent you attending, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
For more information, or to make suggestions, please contact: email@example.com