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    The next 24 hours are crucial. 

    Gustavo Castro Soto

    On March 2, gunmen shot and killed internationally-renowned human rights and environmental defender Berta Cáceres in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras. Her murder is a tremendous loss for Honduras, the region, and around the world for all those working for a more just and sustainable world.

    An exhaustive and impartial investigation into the attack is critical to ensure that the perpetrators – AND architects – of Berta’s murder are brought to justice.

    Gustavo Castro Soto, a Mexican human rights defender working with Otros Mundos-Chiapas, is the sole witness of the attack and now a key part of the investigation, placing him in danger.

    Please send a letter to Honduran, Mexican and embassy authorities demanding security for Gustavo, who continues in Honduras, and to halt the criminalization against COPINH.

    Every email, call, mention in social networks is important to ensure Gustavo’s safety and to support the legitimate struggles of COPINH.

    TAKE ACTION: #JusticiaParaBerta and #SeguridadParaGustavo

    (Personalizing your message, both subject line and letter text, has greater impact.)

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  • Take Action!

    Investigate Exxon’s climate deception

    Exxon Refinery

    Big news broke last year: Exxon knew about climate change in the 1970s. This information raises the likelihood that Exxon’s campaign of misinformation around climate change wasn’t simply bad business, it was fraud.

    Exxon has spent tens of millions of dollars over the past forty years trying to convince us all that climate change isn’t real. When that didn’t work, they said climate change isn’t caused by people, and when that failed, they said it’s not their fault.

    We’re talking about what could be the largest, longest-lasting, and most dangerous case of fraud in human history.

    But right now, we have a chance to expose the depth and breath of Exxon’s deception and misinformation for everyone to see.

    New York State’s Attorney General already started an investigation, and Attorneys General across the country are thinking about following suit. But they need to know that we’re watching, and that we demand they act now.

    These sorts of investigations are what convinced the world about the evil of Big Tobacco – it’s time for Big Oil to get the same treatment.

    Please join the call: Exxon’s day in court has come – they need to tell the truth to the public, tell the truth in court, and be held accountable for their actions.

    Sign the petition to tell America’s State Attorneys General:

  • Urge negotiators: No ISDS in future trade deals!

    In November, President Obama denied a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after a seven-year process demonstrated that the massive pipeline for dirty tar sands oil was not in our national interest. TransCanada Corporation, the company behind Keystone XL, now plans to sue the United States for $15 billion using the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  

    For decades, corporations have invoked ISDS provisions under trade agreements to chill regulatory progress and seek massive damages against governments for adopting legitimate measures to protect public health, safety and the environment. TransCanada has proven what concerned citizens have argued for decades – that the primary purpose of ISDS is to subvert democratic processes with secret tribunals and that ISDS has no place in public policy or in new trade agreements.

  • Tell your representatives: No Investor-State Dispute Settlement in future trade deals!

    TransCanada’s announcement of its intention to sue the United States for $15billion is the best possible cautionary tale to prevent the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in new trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Just as millions were spurred into action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline because it was not in the national interest, ISDS demands our concerted, civil action. Tell your representatives: No ISDS in future trade deals.

  • Opt Out of CIEL Fundraising Emails

     We know you receive a LOT of fundraising emails in December. If you want to give your inbox a break for the rest of the month, just enter your email below, and we won't send you another email until January!

  • We Can Stop the TPP: Tell Congress to Reject This Toxic Deal

    After more than 5 years of negotiations, the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has finally been released to the public, and the facts are these:

    The TPP threatens public health, the environment, and democracy. It would also make it easier for corporate polluters to challenge environmental laws across the globe.

    But this isn't a done deal! Congress will have to decide to approve or reject this deal wholesale within 90 days. The public opposition to this deal is growing, and we can stop the TPP -- but only if Congress starts hearing from us now.

    Tell your representatives in Congress: For people and the planet - reject the TPP!

  • We Can Stop the TPP: Tell US Congress to Reject This Toxic Deal

    After more than 5 years of negotiations, the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has finally been released to the public, and the facts are these:

    The TPP threatens public health, the environment, and democracy. It would also make it easier for corporate polluters to challenge environmental laws across the globe.

    But this isn't a done deal! Congress will have to decide to approve or reject this deal wholesale within 90 days. The public opposition to this deal is growing, and we can stop the TPP - but only if US Congress starts hearing from us now.

    Add your voice. Tell Congress: For people and the planet - reject the TPP!

  • Passez à l’action! Un défenseur de l’environnement est attaqué UNE FOIS DE PLUS

    Second Anniversary of Referendum. Credit: CPR Urbana
    Credit: CPR Urbana

    Samedi soir, des assaillants armés ont tiré sur six personnes à Mataquescuintla, département de Jalapa, Guatemala, où des communautés sont organisées et mènent une résistance pacifique au projet minier Escobal de la compagnie Tahoe Resources Inc.

    Parmi les blessés, Alex Reynoso, défenseur de l’environnement et membre du mouvement de résistance minière de Mataquescuintla dans le sud-est du pays. Alex est dans un état stable, en convalescence de la balle qui l’a atteint dans le bas du dos.

    Cette attaque s’inscrit dans une logique de violence contre les défenseurs de la terre et de l’environnement qui s’opposent à la mine de Tahoe. L’année passée, Alex a été atteint par balle et blessé dans une autre attaque qui a tué sa fille de 16 ans, Merilyn Topacio, aussi la leader du mouvement jeunesse de Mataquescuintla contre l’industrie minière. Un an plus tôt, en avril 2013, des agents de la sécurité privée ont ouvert le feu sur une manifestation pacifique contre la mine, blessant ainsi sept hommes qui poursuivent maintenant Tahoe Resources pour négligence et voies de fait devant un tribunal de Colombie-Britannique.

    La violence contre les défenseur-e-s de l’environnement doit cesser et ces crimes ne doivent pas rester impunis.

  • Take action! Guatemalan environmental defender attacked AGAIN

    Second Anniversary of Referendum. Credit: CPR Urbana
    Credit: CPR Urbana

    On Saturday evening, armed assailants shot at six people in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, Guatemala, where communities have organized in peaceful resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine project.

    Among those injured was Alex Reynoso, an environmental defender and member of the Mataquescuintla mining resistance movement in southeastern Guatemala. Alex remains in stable condition, recuperating from a bullet shot into his lower back.

    This attack follows a pattern of violence against land and environmental defenders who oppose Tahoe’s mine. Just last year, Alex was shot and injured in another attack – one that killed his 16 year old daughter, Merilyn Topacio, herself a leader of the Mataquescuintla youth movement against mining. A year before that in April 2013, private security guards opened fire on a peaceful protest against the mine wounding seven men who are now suing Tahoe for negligence and battery in a British Columbia court.

    This violence against environmental defenders must end, and these crimes must not be allowed to remain in impunity. 

  • Take Action!

    EU proposals for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would usurp US states’ authority to regulate toxic chemicals. These proposals are problematic not only for gutting states’ ability to protect the public from toxic exposure, but also because they threaten any state regulations in the public interest that would exceed federal standards.

    Send a message to your state representatives and legislators. Ask them to demand that the US reject efforts by the EU to usurp the ability of states in the US to protect public health, the environment, and other critical public interests.

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    Kick big polluters out of climate policy!

    Today, we are facing real threats to lives and livelihoods as a result of the severe and potentially irreversible impacts of climate change. The scientific community conveys this message with increasing urgency: we must act quickly to stop the extraction of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions.

    But despite these warnings, the fossil fuel industry—which has a vested interest in halting progress on climate action—continues to delay, weaken, and block climate policy at every level. Too often, big polluters and industry groups are peddling false solutions to protect profits while driving the world ever closer to the brink of climate catastrophe.

    We are joining forces with our allies to call on world leaders to kick big polluters out of policymaking. We will deliver these petitions at pivotal climate treaty talks in Bonn, Germany, the first week of June. 

    The more names we can deliver, the stronger our voices will be.

  • Don't Trade Away Progress on Toxics -- NO to Fast Track!

     

    No Fast Track!The US Congress' next action on trade threatens to undermine progress on toxic chemicals. A bill to fast track approval of secret trade deals like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP) was just introduced in the U.S. Senate.

    Leaked texts and news reports show that the TTIP would weaken our environmental standards, slow progress in reducing the use of toxic chemicals, and empower corporations to attack public interest laws in secret trade tribunals. Since the public has been left in the dark, we need environmental champions in Congress to stand up for us.

    Unfortunately, the fast track legislation that was just introduced would rush the TTIP through Congress without any meaningful oversight or protections for the environment. We must act quickly to ensure that toxic exposure isn't the cost we pay in the mad rush to approve trade deals.

    Let's stop the rush to a bad deal: Sign on to tell the US Congress it should oppose fast track!

  • Don't Trade Away Progress on Toxics -- NO to Fast Track!

    Congress' next action on trade threatens to undermine progress on toxic chemicals. A bill to fast track approval of secret trade deals like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP) was just introduced in the Senate.  

    Leaked texts and news reports show that the TTIP would weaken our environmental standards, slow progress in reducing the use of toxic chemicals, and empower corporations to attack public interest laws in secret trade tribunals. Since the public has been left in the dark, we're counting on environmental champions in Congress to stand up for us.  

    Unfortunately, the fast track legislation that was just introduced would rush the TTIP and similar trade deals through Congress without any meaningful oversight or protections for the environment. We must act quickly to ensure that toxic exposure isn't the cost we pay in the mad rush to approve trade deals.  

    Let's stop the rush to a bad deal: Tell your members of Congress to oppose fast track!

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    Typhoon Haiyan Destruction, Credit: Erik de CastroSecretary Kerry: It's time for a meaningful US pledge to the Green Climate Fund!

    Millions of people around the world are facing the devastating impacts of climate change, while being the ones least responsible for causing it. Industrialized countries have an obligation to provide money to support climate action in developing countries. The Green Climate Fund is a public institution that was created to channel this money to those who need it most. As rich countries prepare to make their first commitments to the GCF on November 20, tell Secretary Kerry that the US needs to make an ambitious financial pledge.

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    Se envolva na Transparência e Participação!

    As comunidades vulneráveis devem ser capazes de obter informação, participar do processo decisório e evitar que projetos de desenvolvimento afetem seus meios de vida

    Sem as leis e remédios jurídicos adequados, o desenvolvimento pode prejudicar o meio ambiente das comunidades locais. Na América Latina e o Caribe, os meios de comunicação da região regularmente documentam conflitos pelo uso dos territórios e seus recursos naturais, o desenvolvimento de energia hidroelétrica, a exploração petroleira, e a perturbação da cultura indígena tradicional.

    Na Declaração sobre a Aplicação do Princípio 10 da Declaração do Rio sobre o Meio Ambiente e o Desenvolvimento na América Latina e o Caribe, os países signatários se comprometeram com a garantia de que todas as pessoas na América Latina e o Caribe estejam informados e possam participar de maneira significativa no processo decisiório ambiental que esteja diretamente relacionado com seus meios de vida.

    Na primeira semana de novembro, as autoridades de toda América Latina e o Caribe se reunirão para decidir sobre a possibilidade de negociar uma Convenção vinculante sobre o Princípio 10.

    As autoridades precisam te escutar. Envie hoje uma mensagem:

    É o momento de adotar uma Convenção juridicamente vinculante que garantize a todas as pessoas o direito ao acesso a informação e a participação no processo decisório ambiental, assegurando o acesso a justiça ambiental.

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    Involúcrate en la Transparencia y  Participación!

    Las comunidades vulnerables deben ser capaces de obtener información, participar en la toma de decisiones y evitar que los proyectos de desarrollo afecten sus medios de vida. 

    Portuguēs  English

    Sin las leyes y las salvaguardias adecuadas, el desarrollo puede ir en perjuicio del medio ambiente y de las comunidades locales. En América Latina y el Caribe, los periódicos de la región regularmente documentan conflictos por el uso de territorios y sus recursos naturales, el desarrollo de la energía hidroeléctrica, la explotación petrolera, y la perturbación a la cultura indígena tradicional.

    En la Declaración sobre la Aplicación del Principio 10 de la Declaración de Río sobre el Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo en América Latina y el Caribe, los países signatarios se comprometieron a garantizar que todas las personas en América Latina y el Caribe estén informados y puedan participar de manera significativa en la toma de decisiones ambientales que les afecta directamente.

    En la primera semana de noviembre, las autoridades de toda América Latina y el Caribe se reunieran para decidir si se debe negociar una convención vinculante sobre el Principio 10.

    Las autoridades necesitan escucharte. Envía hoy un mensaje:

    Es el momento de adoptar una convención jurídicamente vinculante que garantice a las personas el derecho al acceso a la información, a la participación en la toma de decisiones ambientales que asegure el acceso a la justicia ambiental. 

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    Take Action for Transparency and Participation!

    Vulnerable communities should be able to obtain information, participate in decision-making, and prevent development projects that would harm their livelihoods

    Portuguēs    Español

    Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. In Latin America and the Caribbean, newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, and the disruption of traditional indigenous culture.

    The Latin American and Caribbean Declaration on Principle 10 is a promise from governments that they will work to ensure that all people in Latin America and the Caribbean are informed and can meaningfully participate in the environmental decisions that directly impact them.

    In the first week of November, decision-makers from across Latin American and the Caribbean will convene to decide whether to negotiate a binding convention on Principle 10.

    Decision-makers need to hear from us. Send a message today:

    It’s time for a legally binding convention that guarantees people are informed and can meaningfully participate in the environmental decisions that impact them, and that secures real access to environmental justice.

  • World Vs Bank

    World Vs Bank Image

    Whether joining in person or virtually,

    Count me in!

    I stand with the World vs Bank demonstrators on October 11th at 11am, and I call on the World Bank to safeguard people and the planet – NOT corporate profits and human rights abuses.

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    Join the Ejido's call for good faith negotiations without repression

    Since the morning of Tuesday April 1, the Ejido Carrizalillo – a collectively owned and governed area of agricultural land – in Guerrero, Mexico has blocked operations at Goldcorp's Los Filos mine in defense of their territorial rights following expiration of the company's land use contract with the community and its failure to negotiate a new one on time.

    In their statement announcing the mine shut down, the Ejido's negotiating team stated that they would “suspend mine operations until the company demonstrates greater willingness to negotiate or - failing that - demand that it begin to close the mine according to Mexican law to reduce the environmental and health damages that have occurred.” They requested the presence of Mr. Horacio Bruna, Vice President of Goldcorp’s Mexican Operations, at the blockade in order to proceed with talks.

    In the flurry of news that has been coming out of the Mexican press, representatives of the Ejido emphasize concerns they have about the long term environmental and health costs of Goldcorp’s highly profitable open-pit gold and silver operation located a mere kilometer from their community.

    On Friday April 4th, the Ejido issued another statement indicating that they were filing a lawsuit for restoration of their lands as a result of the company’s continuing refusal to renegotiate a new land use contract under more just conditions for the ejido.

    They also called for national and international supporters to be on alert for any acts of intimidation, reprisal or repression against them on the part of the company or related groups.

    Please show your support for the Ejido Carrizalillo and call on Goldcorp to expedite good faith negotiations, without repression, intimidation or other provocations that could lead to violence, toward a new land use contract that respects the Ejido's territorial rights.

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    TAKE URGENT ACTION:  We are receiving reports from our partners in the Ngöbe indigenous territories that President Ricardo Martinelli has ordered national security forces to break up the Ngöbe’s camps along the banks of the Tabasara River in Panama.  The Ngöbe demonstrators have camped there for the past 45 days in peaceful protest against the Barro Blanco dam - a project registered under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism and financed by German and Dutch development banks and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.  Construction of the Barro Blanco project will lead to the eviction of Ngöbe families from their indigenous lands, which provide their primary sources of food and water, means of subsistence, and cultural heritage.  Although they are peacefully gathered along the river banks, the police presence is growing and the Ngöbe fear for their physical safety.

     

    SIGN THE PETITION to show your solidarity with the Ngöbe communities, and call on President Martinelli to protect the rights of the Ngöbe by withdrawing the security forces and ensuring that the Ngöbe are free from intimidation and repression.

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    Our efforts to protect families and future generations from toxic chemicals could be dismantled by closed door, secret negotiations for a new US-EU trade agreement known as TTIP (or TAFTA). 

    Unless we take action. 

    Tell negotiators:
    Don't undermine progress on
    toxic chemicals!

    Why? TTIP could

    1.

    Slow progress in reducing the use of toxic chemicals. 

    2.

    Continue to leave taxpayers paying the health and financial costs of toxic chemicals in our food, water, and air. 

    3.

    Fail to reward businesses that invent safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. 

    4.

    Prevent necessary action on emerging threats, such as hormone disrupting chemicals and nanomaterials.

    5.

    Delay the elimination of toxic chemicals in products destined for the US and EU by foreign manufacturers. 

    We call on EU-US negotiators to keep chemicals out of TTIP to protect human health and the environment. Negotiators should: 

    1. Exclude chemical manufacturing, use, and disposal from the scope of the Regulatory Cooperation Council, and chapters, or annexes of TTIP;
    2. Preserve democracy by preventing governments on either side of the Atlantic from delaying or influencing  how policymakers on the other side choose to protect their citizens from toxic chemicals; 
    3. Increase access to confidential business information for the public and foreign governments;  
    4. Ensure that speculative benefits for international trade do not trump vital protections for people and the environment;
    5. Oppose the creation of scientific advisory committees dominated by industry-linked scientists; 
    6. Exclude investor state dispute settlement; 
    7. Halt the export of any natural gas produced through unconventional methods, such as fracking.

    We also call on the US Congress to oppose Fast Track negotiating authority for TTIP and other trade agreements that have profound impacts on public policy and demand open, informed public debate.

  • Close Cerro Blanco

    Tell Guatemala: 

    It’s time for definitive closure of the Cerro Blanco mine!

     

    In solidarity with civil society organizations in Guatemala and El Salvador, I join the call for Guatemalan authorities to revoke Goldcorp’s exploitation license for the Cerro Blanco mine project, to ensure its immediate and definitive closure, and to guarantee fully financed plans for mine shut down and adequate monitoring!

    At the end of July, Vancouver-based Goldcorp announced the indefinite suspension of the controversial Cerro Blanco on the border of El Salvador project as part of cost-cutting measures spurred by the drop in gold prices, yet local partners say activity continues in the mine area. An independent report categorized the Cerro Blanco project as “high risk” given high natural concentrations of “toxic arsenic in the soil, rock, surface water, and groundwater.” The underground mine openings at Cerro Blanco have already exposed new and very large groundwater pathways loaded with arsenic to the surface. This new contamination will continue to be felt for generations.

    It’s time to put a decisive end to this project that threatens to contaminate the headwaters of the Lempa River which provides drinking water for two-thirds of the population of El Salvador.

    Guatemala has international obligations that call for immediate cessation of activities at the Cerro Blanco project. Under international environmental law, Guatemala must not allow its territory to be used in such a way that it causes harm to the territory of another state, in this case Salvadorans’ right to clean water and a healthy environment.

    In solidarity with Guatemalan and El Salvadoran organizations, we call on Guatemalan authorities:

    • To revoke the company’s exploitation license.

    •To order Goldcorp to set plans in motion to close the mine, based on a detailed closure plan that ensures that mine installations do not represent an ongoing risk for water, biodiversity and the health of people living in the border area. A review of the closure plan should include full public participation and effective responses to public recommendations. Guatemalan authorities should order Goldcorp to provide funding for an appropriate independent organization to hire their own geotechnical experts to review Goldcorp’s closure plans.

    •To ensure that Goldcorp provides a surety bond for the full cost of closure and post-closure of the project given the likelihood that ongoing water monitoring and treatment will be required. Portions of the bond can be returned to Goldcorp as the closure is proven to be effective.

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    Case: Transparency and Participation in the Caribbean

    The story of Asberga, a small-time farmer in Jamaica, illustrates the difficulties of not having access to information and justice. In 1981, Asberga purchased a small plot of land  and has continued to live on it.  She grew crops to sustain herself and sell in the market. In 2006, she applied to the local parish council for permission to subdivide her land. The parish council refused because her land was located on or in proximity to bauxite reserves. Asberga did not know what to do.

    In Jamaica, all minerals are owned by the Government and laws allow the government to zone land for mining purposes and grant companies permission to mine bauxite on anyone’s land without their consent. Asberga sought help from The Access Initiative’s partner, Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), who helped her get the information she needed and conduct an appeal to the parish council’s 2006 decision. Six months later, the appeal was upheld and Asberga was allowed to subdivide her land. Without information and access to justice mechanisms citizens are often left helpless and without access to needed remedies.

    Stories like Asberga’s occur regularly in communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Citizens cannot obtain information on the development projects that directly impact them, leaving them vulnerable to danger and injustice.

    This is where Principle 10 comes in.

    The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Declaration on Principle 10 is a political commitment made by Governments in the region to work to change the current state of affairs. It is a promise from governments that they will work to ensure that all people in Latin America and the Caribbean have a say in the environmental decisions that directly impact them. This agreement would help citizens like Juan to obtain information, participate in decision-making, and prevent projects that would harm his livelihood.

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    Take Action for Transparency and Participation!

    Vulnerable communities should be able to obtain information, participate in decision-making, and prevent development projects that would harm their livelihoods

    (véase la acción en español - link)

    Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, and the disruption of traditional indigenous culture.

    Many of these conflicts occur because countries lack strong laws and practices that encourage public access to information and early participation in government decision-making as well as access to justice (often called “access rights”).

    Here's an example: Juan Perez, a 50-year old Chilean fisherman, lives in a small community called Punta de Choros. Juan’s village is rich in natural resources like abalones, scallops, and fish. But because Juan lives so far from a major city, it’s difficult for him and other citizens to obtain information on how proposed projects—like dams, highways, and coal plants—could impact the community’s resources and livelihoods.

    Juan heard a rumor that a thermoelectric coal project might be developed near their village. Despite regulations that the electric company must provide Punta de Choros residents with a report on the project’s potential environmental impacts, Juan struggled to obtain information. After a two-hour bus ride to the closest municipality, he asked for information about the project, only to be told that it was only available in a town another three hours away. Weeks later, representatives from the company arrived in Juan’s village and passed out a CD with information about the thermoelectric project. However, Juan’s community has no computers.

    Juan and other Punta de Choros residents were unable to learn anything about a project that could directly impact their health, environment, and livelihoods. Stories like Juan’s occur regularly in communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (see case study herewhere citizens cannot obtain information on the development projects that directly impact them, leaving them vulnerable to danger and injustice.

    This is where Principle 10 comes in.

    The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Declaration on Principle 10 is a political commitment made by Governments in the region to work to change the current state of affairs. It is a promise from governments that they will work to ensure that all people in Latin America and the Caribbean have a say in the environmental decisions that directly impact them. This agreement would help citizens like Juan to obtain information, participate in decision-making, and prevent projects that would harm his livelihood.

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    Help us honor Donald’s legacy.

    Sign your name to help fulfill Donald’s wish to ensure that the members of ASOCHIVIDA have access to live-saving treatment. Your name will be added to a petition to Nicaraguan President Ortega asking that the construction of the dialysis clinic begin immediately. If we're successful, the clinic will be dedicated to Donald.

  • ExIm Bank on Vietnamese Coal Plant Funding

    In a matter of HOURS, the board of directors of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that has been funneling billions of U.S. tax dollars into polluting energy projects abroad, will vote on the climate impacts of a dirty coal plant in Vietnam.

    We have mere hours to make our voices heard, and we’re joining with partner Pacific Environment to do just that. President Obama must stand behind his Climate Action plan, which states that financing for most coal plants abroad is no longer acceptable

    .The project in question is the Thai Binh II coal plant in the Red River Delta in Northern Vietnam, which will emit dangerous levels of toxic air pollutants, exacerbating climate change and endanging local communities due to outdated technology. This pollution violates the President’s Climate Action Plan and the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s own environmental policy.

    If the U.S. Export-Import Banks’ board votes that the climate impact of this heavily polluting coal plant in Vietnam is acceptable, the bank will effectively have the go-ahead to provide public financing for the project.

    A lot is at stake and we must act now. If this plant is given the green light, it sets a dangerous precedent for future investments in dirty coal.

    Tell President Obama to protect his Climate Action Plan and urge him to call on the bank’s board to end U.S. financing for coal plants abroad now.

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    Urge UN Special Rapporteur to Recommend Reform to Protect Indigenous Communities

    (véase la acción en español)

    On July 20, 2013, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya met with community representatives in the Ngäbe-Buglé territory in Panama to learn firsthand about the human rights threatened by the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam.

    The Barro Blanco dam is registered under the Clean Development Mechanism, a carbon offsetting scheme established under the UN climate framework. The CDM has no standards for human rights or indigenous rights, nor does it have a way for communities that are negatively affected by CDM projects to register complaints.

    Mr. Anaya will present a report with his findings and recommendations on the issues examined during his mission, including the human rights violations against the indigenous people affected by Barro Blanco.

    Sign the letter to urge Special Rapporteur Anaya to include in his report recommendations (below) to the CDM and to the Panamanian government to respect human rights for development projects that generate social and environmental impacts, with particular attention to indigenous rights.

  • (No Title)

    Inste al Relator Especial de la ONU a recomendar reformas para proteger comunidades indígenas

    (English petition availabe here)

    El 20 de julio de 2013, el Relator Especial de la ONU sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, James Anaya, se reunirá con representantes de la comarca indígena Ngäbe-Buglé en Panamá.  El relator escuchará el testimonio de las personas directamente afectadas por el proyecto hidroeléctrico Barro Blanco y conocerá de primera mano los derechos humanos violados y amenazados por la implementación del mismo.

    El proyecto Barro Blanco está registrado bajo el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (MDL) - un mecanismo establecido bajo el marco de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático.  Sin embargo, el MDL no contempla ningún estándar en materia de protección de derechos humanos, ni de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, ni cuenta con un sistema para que las personas o comunidades afectadas o posiblemente afectadas por estos proyectos, presenten quejas por la violación de sus derechos.

    El Relator Anaya presentará un informe sobre su visita a Panamá ante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, durante la cual podrá verificar las amenazas a derechos humanos cometidas en perjuicio de los pueblos indígenas afectados por Barro Blanco.

    Firme la acción para instar al Relator Anaya a incluir en su informe las recomendaciones (abajo) hacia el MDL y al Estado panameño que respete los derechos humanos en la implementacion de proyectos y programas que generan impactos socioambientales, especialmente los derechos de los pueblos indígenas:

  • (No Title)

    Be Part of the Global Legal Campaign on Behalf of Youth and Future Generations

    Now is the time to use the power of law to protect our right to a safe climate.  One action will become many…  

    Join our petition today!



    Climate change is an issue of intergenerational justice and equity because it will have disproportionate impacts on youth and future generations.  Frustrated by the failure of the present generation to take meaningful action to address the climate crisis, youth are inspired – and are inspiring others – to use the power of the law to protect our right to a safe climate.  


    On Earth Day (April 22), youth in the Philippines will take legal action to protect the climate by helping launch the Road Sharing Movement.  This Movement calls on the Government of the Philippines to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by transforming its national road and transportation system.  As part of a nationwide effort, youth will file petitions for rulemaking, proposing that one half of roads are used for public transport and the other half are used for pedestrian and bicycle lanes.



    From April 19-22, a core team of youth and lawyers from around the world will meet on the island of Banatayan in Cebu, Philippines, to support this effort.  Following ground-breaking atmospheric trust cases filed in the U.S., Ukraine, and Uganda, the Road Sharing Movement is the next in a wave of legal actions to be brought by youth.  In the coming months, youth will call on governments, corporations, and international institutions to protect the climate in the name of present and future generations.  The voices of youth will unite, compelling these decision-makers to address the intergenerational justice dimensions of climate change and holding them accountable for their actions (or inactions). 

    By signing this petition, your email address will be automatically added to the email lists of the Center for International Environmental Law and Our Children's Trust. You may unsubscribe at any time.

  • (No Title)

    #Whatwillittake for the World Bank to uphold human rights?

    Credit: Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

    The mandate of World Bank is to reduce poverty, but economic development only improves people’s lives when it is accompanied by the guarantee of the full enjoyment of their human rights. The Bank’s current safeguard policies, whose purpose is to ensure that the Bank “does no harm,”  do not sufficiently guarantee respect for human rights, resulting in some Bank-financed projects leaving the very people the Bank aims to support even worse off. Only a serious change in the Bank’s safeguard policies would guarantee that the World Bank upholds human rights for future projects.

    That’s where you come in.  In October 2012, the World Bank launched a review of its safeguard policies.  The review is expected to take two years, and the first public consultation period for the safeguard review ends on April 21st.  

    Send an email to the World Bank to tell them that the safeguard policies must uphold human rights. To send a similar message to the Executive Director that represents your country on the World Bank Board, find the contact information via the Bank Information Center.

  • (No Title)

    #Whatwillittake for the World Bank to uphold human rights?

    Credit: Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

    The mandate of World Bank is to reduce poverty, but economic development only improves people’s lives when it is accompanied by the guarantee of the full enjoyment of their human rights. The Bank’s current safeguard policies, whose purpose is to ensure that the Bank “does no harm,”  do not sufficiently guarantee respect for human rights, resulting in some Bank-financed projects leaving the very people the Bank aims to support even worse off. Only a serious change in the Bank’s safeguard policies would guarantee that the World Bank upholds human rights for future projects.

    That’s where you come in.  In October 2012, the World Bank launched a review of its safeguard policies.  The review is expected to take two years, and the first public consultation period for the safeguard review ends on April 21st.  

    Send an email to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury represents the United States on the World Bank Board) and to the World Bank to tell them that the safeguard policies must uphold human rights. 

  • (No Title)

    Only 22 hazardous chemicals – of possible thousands – are currently managed throughout their lifecycle at the global level and chemical production is projected to increase. The four existing global agreements for chemicals management are inadequate, even if fully implemented, to protect human health and the environment from the risks of dangerous chemicals.  The recent treaty on mercury exemplifies the trend to develop narrow treaties, leaving a host of hazardous chemicals unaddressed at the global level. 

    Sign the petition if you believe it's time for stronger international laws on safe chemicals management! Your signature will be used to encourage policymakers to enact stronger laws for safer chemicals.

  • (No Title)

    Only 22 hazardous chemicals – of possible thousands – are currently managed throughout their lifecycle at the global level and chemical production is projected to increase. The four existing global agreements for chemicals management are inadequate, even if fully implemented, to protect human health and the environment from the risks of dangerous chemicals. The recent treaty on mercury exemplifies the trend to develop narrow treaties, leaving a host of hazardous chemicals unaddressed at the global level. 

    Sign the petition if you believe it's time for stronger international laws on safe chemicals management! Your signature will be used to encourage policymakers to enact stronger laws for safer chemicals.

  • (No Title)

    Send a Letter to President Obama:

    Put words into action and make climate change a top priority in the President's second term

    Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the US is obligated to lead efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.  For more than two decades, the US has failed to deliver on this obligation in any meaningful way.

    The Obama Administration has recognized its international obligations and made commitments to lead on climate change many times.   In his inaugural address in January, President Obama made climate change part of his core message: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. …The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.” Last month during his confirmation hearing, John Kerry, the new Secretary of State, reiterated that climate change is a priority for the administration. 

    We agree, Mr. President, that the US must lead on climate change. But we have seen little evidence of that to date.  The start of Obama’s second term must mark a decisive shift in US policies and related actions to fulfill its obligations to our nation as well as to the global community.  

    Please send a letter to President Obama, stating that climate change is a priority that must be addressed now.  Remind him that the United States has made numerous commitments to act, and that we expect him to fulfill those promises and show true leadership on climate in his second term.  The world can’t wait.

  • The Time is Now

    Take action to protect families around the world from toxic chemicals.


    Early puberty, childhood cancer, infertility, learning and developmental disabilities are rising at alarming rates. Studies show links between many of these negative health trends and toxic chemicals we’re exposed to every day.

    Women and children around the world have toxic chemicals in their bodies.  Exposed through food, water, and products—at home and at work—toxic chemicals are taking a tremendous toll on global health and the environment.

    This is unacceptable. Tell the U.S. Congress to Act Now.

  • 24 Hours to Stop Keystone XL

    Tell the Senate to vote “No” on Keystone XL!

    Tomorrow, less than a month after President Obama denied a permit for the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the Senate could vote on a bill that would permit the project to go forward. In order to show the Senate that this is unacceptable, the environmental community wants to deliver 500,000 messages to Capitol Hill by noon on Tuesday. Help us send a strong, clear message that we want a clean energy future.

  • NO extraction license to Tahoe Resources!

    NO extraction license to Tahoe Resources!

    Before January 11, 2012, Guatemala's Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources must decide whether to allow Tahoe Resources to develop a silver and gold mine in the province of Santa Rosa. Local communities have not been adequately consulted and the required environmental assessment has not been made publicly available despite repeated requests. 
    .
    Under international human rights standards, Guatemala must consult communities and obtain the consent of indigenous peoples who could be affected by the mine.
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    Guatemala should NOT issue an exploitation license to Tahoe Resources unless and until communities have been adequately consulted and affected indigenous peoples have given their free, prior and informed consent.
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    (See original urgent action by Amnesty international Canada)