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On 21st and 22nd June 2017,  the Forest Defenders Conference will be held in Oxford, UK, to discuss the challenges and the violence experienced by environmental defenders worldwide.

The conference will bring together front line activists, investigators and community leaders with human rights groups, environmentalists, funders, media representatives, lawyers, security specialists and researchers to build connections and seek strategies to address the crisis in violence against front line forest and land defenders.

The main meeting will be on 21st June, at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, with talks and sessions from Universal Rights Group, Civil Rights Defenders, Global Diligence, Mother Nature Cambodia, Epsilar Group, international analysts and front line activists and forest defenders. The morning will consist of presentations including:

  • Responding to the current crisis in violence against environmental defenders (John Knox, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment)
  • Development at what cost? How ongoing exploitation of the environment is driving conflict (John Vidal, The Guardian)
  • Working as an undercover investigator to fight the plunder of Cambodia’s forests (Ouch Leng, Goldman Prize Winner)
  • The West African rosewood logging crisis (Justino Sá, forest activist and Chief Legal Advisor to the Government of Guinea-Bissau)
  • Creative cases at the International Criminal Court (Richard Rogers, Global Diligence)

In the afternoon, we will split into working groups of particular interest / expertise to share experiences and to identify and rank:

  • barriers to accessing support for front line defenders / barriers to effectively providing support
  • ideas and solutions to overcome those barriers, and long-term strategies to address the drivers of violence.

On 22nd June, we are planning a digital security workshop for defenders and supporters / interested attendees.

The conference is being organized by NOT 1 MORE (N1M), an environmental defenders campaign network initiated in 2016 in direct response to the violence experienced by environmental defenders. N1M works directly with activists in West Africa and Cambodia, and aims to forge connections with international groups, recognizing that many individuals and small organizations are extremely isolated from support networks.

We look forward to welcoming you to a creative and stimulating meeting.

Spaces are limited! Please register by 5th May at:

Feel free to reach out for more information: [email protected].

Read more about violence towards environmental defenders on ENTITLE blog:
Relatos del Encuentro “¡Berta Vive! COPINH Sigue”
Stop state-mediated violence in the name of green energy!
International call to condemn the murder of indigenous leader Berta Cáceres in Honduras
‘Never seen it so bad’: violence and impunity in Brazil’s Amazon
A strange mirror in the Amazon frontier