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Environmental defenders and regional protection mechanisms: lessons and ways forward

Dernière mise à jour : 3 juil.

Regional processes and mechanisms are playing a growing and rapidly transforming role for environmental defenders in terms of new standards, collaborative efforts and plans. Yet, how effective are regional mechanisms in supporting and protecting environmental defenders in different parts of the world?  What are the lessons in terms of the relevance and effectiveness of regional human rights and environmental protection mechanisms? How can on-going experiences by civil society organizations and defenders themselves help shape new and strengthened regional approaches? There is wide recognition of the different situations across regions as well as the need to harvest relevant lessons from on-going initiatives. As part of the University of Geneva research Via project, studies are being conducted seeking to draw out lessons from regional protection mechanisms in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Building on previous Geneva Roadmap efforts and benefiting on-going efforts under the Aarhus Convention and global human rights mechanisms, the aim of the events is to provide platforms for experience sharing around with regional protection mechanisms.For each region different regional mechanisms: exchanges on past experiences, lessons learned, research insights and dialogue with representatives from the Aarhus Convention.

DAY 1: July 4

18:15 – Reception Dinatoire and start of workshops on regional mechanisms –

Location: Rue Varembé 1, ground floor (sandwiches offered)


19:00 –20.30 Europe and Central Asia; lessons from Aarhus and beyond


·       Peter Larsen, University of Geneva

·       Elisa Morgera, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change

Learning from the Aarhus Convention: experiences from EHRDs, proposals and perspectives.

·       Fiona Marshall, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention

·       Teresa Mayr, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention (tbc)

·       Frederick Hafen, European Environment Bureau.

·       Yves Lador, Earthjustice


DAY 2: Friday 5 July

Workshops on Regional Mechanisms: Asia, Africa and Latin America

                        (interpretation available for French/ English/ Spanish)


Location: @SDG Solution Space, 15 Avenue de Sécheron, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland


9:30 – Introduction to Challenges identified at the regional level by academic research, civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples organizations and social movements.


Past experiences, history of the Resolution 40/11, trends identified, research projects, theoretical frameworks (Yves Lador, Peter Larsen, Jörg Balsiger)


10:30 - coffee break


11:00 – Asia


Presentation of draft findings by Via project expert Lia Torres

Research insights, experiences from EHRDs, perspectives and proposals.

Feedback and facilitated discussion with participants , moderation by Augusto Gatmaytan, Ateneo University


12:30: Lunch Break

13:30 – Africa (French / English translation available)


Presentation of draft findings by VIA project expert Rose Birgen

Research insights, experiences from EHRDs, proposals and perspectives.

Feedback and facilitated discussion with participants, moderation by Willice Abuya, Moi University


15:00 - coffee break


15:30 Americas


Presentation of draft findings by Waldo Alor, IIDS  +

Francisca Aguilar, Escazú Agreement Secretariat

César Artiga: Human Rights Defender, civil society representative (online)

inputs on Escazu plan of action

Research insights, experiences from EHRDs, proposals and perspectives.

feedback and facilitated discussion, moderation by Raquel Yrigoyen, International Institute on Law and Society



17:00 - Conclusions 

-       Peter Larsen, University of Geneva

-       Ulises Quero, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

-       Yves Lador, Earthjustice

17:30 - End

For further information and attendance:

Partner institutions: Geneva Roadmap, GEN, ISHR, Earthjustice

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