For the past 11 years, Global Witness has documented and denounced waves of threats, violence and killings of land and environmental defenders across the world, and 2022 marks the beginning of our second decade documenting lethal attacks. The world has changed dramatically since we started documenting these in 2012. But one thing that has not changed is the relentlessness of the killings.
Last year, at least 177 defenders lost their lives for protecting our planet, bringing the total number of killings to 1,910 since 2012. At least 1,390 of these killings took place between the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 and 31 December 2022.
Amazon nations have attacked in a joint declaration the “proliferation” of environmental rules in trade, echoing a growing backlash against new EU deforestation requirements.
The final document does not single out the European law specifically, but it condemns “the proliferation of unilateral trade measures based on environmental requirements and norms which constitute trade barriers”.
Roads constructed for the oil industry have facilitated timber extraction in the Amazon for decades. Recent deforestation alerts show that this problem is ongoing.
In Via Auca, one of the most deforested areas of Ecuador’s Amazon, farmers are turning to planting oil palm under the contract farming model.
On the Via a Loreto, Indigenous Kichwa people are focusing on cultivating balsa trees used for a material that has been in high demand in the wind energy industry for the last five years.
Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
A series of reports have shown that deforestation caused by gold mining is escalating in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Protected areas and indigenous territories such as Podocarpus National Park, Cuenca Alta del Río Nangaritza Protected Forest, and Shuar Arutam Indigenous territory have been highly susceptible to these activities, which are now beginning to affect the Cofán – Bermejo Ecological Reserve.
Colombia and Ecuador are implementing a system designed to alert about risks of violence against residents who live near the border, many of whom are Awá Indigenous people.
Since last August, thousands of Awá have been forcibly displaced or suffered threats, intimidation, torture or forced recruitment by organized crime groups participating in drug trafficking and illegal mining.
Ecuador is the world’s biggest exporter of balsa wood, most of it shipped to China. Indigenous communities in Ecuador’s Pastaza River Basin say balsa is being logged illegally in their territories. Sources say balsa logging is damaging the ecological integrity of the region and hurting Indigenous communities. The problem has reportedly spread to neighboring Peru, where Indigenous communities accuse Ecuadoran balsa loggers of felling commercially valuable trees and even kidnapping a child.
Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.
Click here to access the Cattle Data Tool.