Protect Award-Winning Environmentalists from Murder

Women are definitely leading the environmental movement, with a record six of this year’s seven Goldman Environmental Prize (considered the top international award for grassroots environmentalists) recipients being women. Now if only we could guarantee they’d stay alive to enjoy the honor and continue their important work…

You see, a couple of winners of this prize have been murdered in recent years. Berta Cáceres who opposed a dam in Honduras and Isidro Baldenegro López who campaigned against deforestation in Mexico were murdered within a year of each other. A third winner, Rodrigue Katembo of the Virunga sanctuary for gorillas, is still alive but saw six of his associates killed a few weeks ago.

That’s why the Care2 community is asking the Goldman Environmental Foundation to provide these winners with protection given the riskiness of their work via this petition.

It’s not that the award is “cursed,” rather that environmentalists are often up against wealthy foes that don’t mind sacrificing natural resources and even human lives in order to make their profits. It’s easier to murder the opposition than to negotiate, especially in parts of the world where law enforcement officers can be bribed to not investigate these murders.

In 2016, over 200 environmental leaders around the world were murdered because of their activism. Although the final tally for 2017 hasn’t been published yet, the number is expected to be even higher. From these reports, it’s clear that being a vocal environmentalist is dangerous work and that protection is warranted.

Before this news gets too bleak, let’s also take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners:

  • Khanh Nguy Thi of Vietnam for developing a more ambitious green energy plan for her country.
  • Manny Calonzo of the Philippines for pushing for improved regulations on lead paint in his country.
  • Claire Nouvian of France for advocating against the use of fishing nets along the floor of deep ocean waters, since the dragging of nets was ruining these delicate ecosystems.
  • Makoma Lekalakala & Liz McDaid of South Africa for exposing a secret arrangement between Russia and the South African government to bring nuclear power
  • Francia Márquez of Colombia for blocking illegal gold mining; through her efforts, her region’s illegal mining operations all stopped
  • LeeAnne Walters of Flint, Michigan for bringing attention of the local water supply’s lead contamination to the community.

Take Action!

Granted, not all of these winners are in perilous situations that warrant a bodyguard. However, some like Márquez have faced multiple death threats and maintained their activism anyway.

That’s why we’re using this petition to ask the Goldman Environmental Foundation to do right by their winners by offering security to those whose lives are threatened. We need these activists alive to help save us all!

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: CIDH/Flickr

42 comments

Shirley P
Shirley Plowman1 months ago

COURAGE NEEDED, WE MUST ALL SPEAK OUT!

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Sabrina D
Sabrina D2 months ago

I've just signed the petition.

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M2 months ago

Unbelievable :( Petition already signed.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson3 months ago

Thank you!

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Angela J
Angela J3 months ago

Thanks

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Mary B
Mary B3 months ago

Luna, THE SOURCE that gives life may be unconditional, but once it's taken in by humans, they do indeed do good or evil things.Some also say that "all men are created equal" when it's obvious they are not. Some men AND women are brilliant, some not so much, and some walk around like idiots. Guess which kind you sound like when you say "there is no good nor evil ". But there are millions of people walking around with archaic beliefs that cause evil or good actions.And technology that can literally destroy the Earths biology and atmosphere. So I'm calling your BS here because in my OPINION, destroying our shared planet is an EVIL thing. Got that !

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