“For nature, our life”
N1M is an environmental defenders campaign network
We aim to support environmentalists at risk, who defy threats and intimidation to protect nature. Protecting our environment is the most important job anyone could take on, it shouldn’t be one of the most dangerous.
Chut Wutty, Cambodian forest defender, said “The forest is like the skin protecting our bodies. Without it, we couldn’t survive.” In 2012, Chut Wutty set out to investigate an illegal logging site in the Cardamom Mountains. Armed military, moonlighting for the logging company, stopped the car, grabbed the team’s cameras and, as tension mounted, shot Wutty through the car door.
Front line environmental defenders commit themselves, sacrificing their time, their resources, their careers, even their freedom, to protect nature. They do so to keep the environment free from exploitation, diverse and abundant.
Yet those who protect our world face violent reprisals.
Globally, three environmental and land defenders are killed every week. In Cambodia, the situation has worsened since Wutty’s death. A new, repressive ‘NGO law’ limits civil society action. Brave activists fighting to protect Cambodia’s mangrove forests from sand mining have been criminalised, and are in jail on trumped up charges. On 26th March 2016, lauded forest defender, Phon Sopheak, was attacked with a machete while sleeping in Prey Lang forest on patrol.
We want all who stand up to defend nature to be safe, and to be free.
“To live with freedom”
Environmental defenders are often isolated. Many live and campaign in remote locations, cut off from the media, human rights groups and public support, and they are therefore vulnerable to arrests or deadly attacks. Our goal is to raise awareness for the work of environmental defenders at risk and to engage a wide community to offer direct and practical support.
To many environmental defenders support is inaccessible because the information on how to get emergency funds, advocacy, legal advice etc., is dispersed, or not available in their languages. Our goal is to create avenues for environmental defenders to access existing support by creating open source multi-lingual information, and holding events where defenders can share their needs with environmental and human rights groups.
Environmental lawyer, Batista Afonso, who faces regular threats for his work to support rural land defenders and forest activists in Pará, Brazil, said “Impunity is like a license to kill.” N1M will push for independent investigations and pursue cases that have a critical impact.