Discussion Paper on Biosphere Defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean

Discussion Paper on Biosphere Defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean & Written comments to the Escazu Agreement’s Draft Regional Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters. By the Glawcal Lab at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute with The Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment.

This Discussion Paper aims to inform the Escazu Agreement’s (EA) Regional Action Plan on human rights defenders in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (Regional Action Plan). While most of the attention on defenders is placed in protecting them due to the risks that they face of being threatened or even assassinated, we argue that it is equally important to a) generate knowledge, b) recognize and c) support defender’s role as agents of change and as central actors in the construction of just sustainability pathways both intra and intergenerationally; d) develop tools to review implementation in these three aspects in terms of defenders as agents of change is also important. The EA Defenders Plan of Action has a unique opportunity to catalyse work in this direction in which both aspects -the risks and their agency- are given equal importance. Through legal interpretation, conceptual and thematic analysis of academic and grey literature, this discussion paper tailors and expands the Defend-Biosphere Framework1 so it can be used as a knowledge policy-support tool to advance points a), b), c) and d) above-mentioned.
We use the term “biosphere defenders” not to propose a revision in the text of the EA. Rather, it is a way to highlight that human rights defenders in environmental matters, like the rest of the people, form part of the biosphere – the biosphere as the whole intertwined network of life on Earth. We use the term “biosphere defenders” to focus on these actors as agents of change in pathways towards just sustainability.2 Case studies developed using a Defend-Biosphere Framework have revealed that relational values of solidarity, responsibility, and care (between human and other living beings) are central in understanding Biosphere Defenders’ initiatives creating pathways towards just sustainability, generating new ways to relate to socio-ecological systems and engage with the State and the economy. At the same time, this unique understanding of environmental defenders partially explains the risks they are facing.

For providing comments and for more information on this discussion paper, contact: Dr. Claudia Ituarte-Lima at claudia.ituarte-lima@rwi.lu.se

For the spanih version please follow the link: https://rwi.lu.se/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/DiscussionPaperCommentsDefendersPlan-Espanol.pdf

Share with your friends
Scroll to top