ICCAs and their custodians are under threat from a range of industrial activities seeking to exploit resources in their territories and areas. Community leaders and local activists, in particular, are pivotal in countering the increasing pressure that many rural and indigenous communities face from extractive industries, large-scale monoculture plantations and infrastructure projects bound to destroy habitats and traditional ways of life. However, this ends up exposing the members of such communities to discrimination, intimidation, abuse, and violence.  In 2014, Global Witness reported that: “Each week at least two people are being killed for taking a stand against environmental destruction. Some are shot by police during protests, others gunned down by hired assassins…. at least 116 environmental activists were murdered in 2014 … a shocking 40% of victims were indigenous, with most people dying amid disputes over hydropower, mining and agri-business.

As described in the “Private sector standards and safeguards” page, the ICCA Consortium and its members are engaged in this area of law and policy. The ICCA Consortium is working with a range of allies and partners to establish an Alert mechanism as well as a Solidarity Action and Fund for Defenders of the Commons and ICCAs (SAFE). These aim to support the growing movement of civil society efforts to defend environmental and human rights defenders.

First published on 06/26/2017, and last updated on 06/28/2017