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”.
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.
The Venezuelan government has deployed over 5,000 soldiers in the country’s national parks with the goal of evicting criminal groups leading illegal gold mining and drug trafficking operations.
According to the Operational Strategic Commander of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, Domingo Hernández Lárez, thousands of litres of fuel, hundreds of engines, rafts, pipes, processing plants, chemical agents, camping gear and other materials are being destroyed on a daily basis during military operations carried out in tandem with the neighbouring Colombian armed forces.
- Multiple recent reports show that deforestation has greatly increased in Venezuela’s Amazonian states of Bolívar and Amazonas, largely due to illegal mining, expanded agriculture and fires.
- Venezuelan protected areas have been especially hard hit, with illegal incursions and major deforestation occurring inside Caura, Canaima and Yapacana national parks.
- Soaring deforestation rates are blamed partly on Colombian guerrillas operating illegally within Venezuela’s borders, an invasion that one report alleges has been supported by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
- Forest loss has been well confirmed via satellite, while ground truthing has been obtained via firsthand accounts.
We present here the first report of a series focused on the Venezuelan Amazon, which covers over 47 million hectares of the northern section of the Amazon biome (above western Brazil).
As the Amazon Base Map indicates, Venezuela is a key part to the remaining core Amazon that is still functioning as a critical carbon sink, making it an important piece to long-term conservation strategies.
However, deforestation has been increasing in recent years (see graph in Base Map), indicating escalating threats.
- A report from the Political Ecology Observatory of Venezuela (OEP) lays out the worst environmental conflicts that the South American country faced in 2021.
- Among them are oil spills, deforestation, mining, and a lack of clean water in areas with degraded watersheds.
- The report notes the continuing difficulty of tracking environmental parameters in Venezuela, due to the lack of transparency by government at all levels.
- Regardless, it notes that last year’s events contributed to numerous public health crises.
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.