More than two hundred activists working to protect the environment were killed globally in 2020, a record number of killings for the second year in a row.
In the new report by international human rights group Global Witness, it detailed how the 227 killed worked to protect the environment and land rights, for example, for protecting natural resources, including forests, rivers, water supplies, oceans and other ecosystems.
The report said that this figure is likely an estimate, and that the numbers could actually be higher, but due to growing restrictions on journalists, it is hard to secure the full numbers worldwide.
Since the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted in 2015, approximately four environmental defenders have been killed weekly.
Colombia is the most dangerous country for environmental activists, with 65 people killed in the past year for defending the environment and land. Global Witness’s experts said they are particularly concerned about Colombia, as it is the second consecutive year that the country was labeled the most dangerous for defenders.
Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil and Nicaragua followed Colombia on the list for deadliest nations for environmental defenders.
Global Witness is urging the international community to reduce the risk of violence and death in resource extraction.