Protecting Environmental Defenders

Small Group Project 2023-24

Protecting Environmental Defenders: an Intersectional Analysis of Vulnerability and Violence

Small Group Project 2023-24

Our project starts from a paradox: while rights to and of nature continuously expand, so does violence against those who fight to defend them. This is particularly visible in South America, where recent records show a dramatic increase in violence against environmental defenders. The ISRF Flexible Grants for Small Groups grant will facilitate the establishment of a long-term trans-Atlantic research initiative studying this paradox through the twin concepts of violence and vulnerability. Using an intersectional approach (focusing particularly, albeit not exclusively, on the intersection between gender and race), our work will focus on deepening understanding of the dynamics of continuity and discontinuity between vulnerability and violence against environmental defenders in 3 Andean focus countries: Colombia, Ecuador, and Chile. 

Our main project activity will consist of a 2-day workshop hosted by the Grupo de Investigación en Derechos Colectivos y Ambientales (Research group on collective and environmental rights) at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, Colombia in April 2023. The workshop will bring together scholars from Europe and the 3 focus countries, and will produce 3 outcomes: (1) a preliminary concept and case mapping to enable us to identify specific cases for further in-depth empirical work; (2) assemble a research team of both recognized scientists and practitioners from leading grassroots organizations who are working on the protection of environmental defenders; and (3) a draft a project proposal for a larger H2020 funding bid to support further long-term research efforts.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at [email protected].