Research press release


Nature Sustainability

Defending the environmental defenders



今回、N Buttたちは、ガバナンス、天然資源と国民経済に対するその重要性、環境保護者の殺害との間の関連性を分析した。その結果、さまざまな地域や紛争の至る所で殺人が起こっているが、その大半が鉱業やアグリビジネスと関連があることが分かった。この研究からは、腐敗のレベルがより高く、法的監視がより少ない国に、環境保護者の殺害がより多い傾向があることが示唆されている。さらに、先住民グループ出身の環境保護者の死者数が最も多く、暴力の大半は中南米で起こっていることが見いだされた。


Corruption and lack of law enforcement are key factors that influence the number of deaths of individuals defending the environment or land rights, a paper in Nature Sustainability indicates. The findings highlight that defending the environment has become more lethal than serving in some war zones.

Between 2002 and 2017, more than 1,500 people in 50 countries were killed while engaged in environmental activism or defence: protecting land, forests, water and other natural resources. Those involved included lawyers, journalists, park rangers and members of Indigenous and traditional communities trying to prevent eviction from or encroachment on their lands. The rate of deaths has doubled over that time period from two to four per week, which is more than double the number of British and Australian military armed service people who were killed in active duty globally during the same period.

Nathalie Butt and colleagues analysed the relationship between governance, natural resources and their importance to a nation’s economy, and environmental-defender deaths. They identified that deaths occurred across different regions and conflicts but most were linked to the mining industry and agribusiness. The research indicates that countries with higher levels of corruption and less legal oversight tended to have more environmental-protector deaths. The authors find that environmental defenders from Indigenous groups had the largest number of deaths, with most violence occurring in Central and South America.

The authors suggest that only 10% of environmental-defender murders will result in a conviction, and argue that businesses, investors and governments need to be accountable for their role in the environmental conflicts that cause the violence.

doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0349-4


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