Threats, restrictions and violence against environmental defenders are on the rise globally. Brazil is a particularly striking case of rising environmental crimes, primarily in its Amazon region. In 2017, 57 environmental activists were assassinated in the country. In order to help address escalating violence, UN Environment has launched the UN Initiative for Environmental Defenders. The initiative aims to assist states in upholding environmental rights and navigating the growing wave of violence against environmental activists.
Next to a case study on the situation in Brazil, this brief includes an overview of the UN initiative‘s objectives and approach as well as options for member states to offer support through environmental diplomacy.