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Policy Newsletter: World Environment Day and human rights; plus news, analysis articles, and upcoming events.

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Region360.org Policy Newsletter

June 4 · Issue #11 · View online

We monitor hundreds of bilingual publications and organizations from across the sustainability and climate policy sectors in Latin America. Our human editors vet this content for quality and hand-pick the most stimulating and pertinent policy-related content. We have strong interests on climate adaptation and mitigation, SDG's, water and climate justice, indigenous rights, and gender equity.


Our new bilingual newsletter includes analysis and summaries of articles, events, and informational content we are curating for you bi-weekly . Our aim is to guide our reader’s through ongoing developments on sustainability and climate change policy in Latin America. Send us your comments at [email protected]

In This Issue: Spotlight on World Environment Day and human rights in the context of climate change…
As we think about World Environment Day, and its purpose to scale awareness and action for environmental preservation and restoration, we must ensure that our dialogue addresses ways in which the global As we think about World Environment Day, and its purpose to scale awareness and action for environmental preservation and restoration, we must ensure that our dialogue addresses ways in which the global community can ensure the protection of both communities of environmental activists and vulnerable populations already experiencing the effects of damaged environmental conditions. In this issue, we highlight the global plans to commemorate World Environment Day, the UN decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and recent analyses of human rights violations against environmental activists and migrants from Central America
Reimagine, Recreate, and Restore, in collaboration with Pakistan 2021, will host a live broadcast from June 4-5 to celebrate World Environment Day and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This interactive, virtual gala encourages participants to join the conversation online and will feature talks from world leaders and activists around the world to generate dialogue about reviving our planet’s critical ecosystems. Tackling ecosystem degradation will require a collaborative approach and there is no better time to join the global conversation. 
Critical to the success of a global effort to restore and protect the environment is establishing protections for defenders of the environment. The Escazú Agreement is a key treaty towards expanding protections and preventing violence against activists in Latin America and it is now being invoked in Mexico to ensure access to environmental information and allow for safe participation. The hope for Escazú’s effectiveness stems from its focus on structural change, such as different procedures and budgetary allotment for protection of environmental defenders from the Mexican state. With its emphasis on holding states accountable for the safety of their environmental activists, the Escazú agreement can accelerate the transformation of Mexico’s institutions and regulatory processes to deal with the environmental, and human rights crisis at hand. However, the effectiveness of the Escazú Agreement relies heavily on vulnerable communities being informed and aware about their rights and protections. Culturally sensitive, locally-led community outreach and education will be essential to communities utilizing the Escazú Agreement as a legal instrument to protect themselves and their communities. 
Migration is deeply tied to sustainable development, with one of its primary drivers being the lack of options for decent work (SDG8) in migrants’ home countries. The migration crisis from Central America, however, intersects with other unmet Sustainable Development Goals in the region, including SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG2 (zero hunger) and, more acutely, with SDG16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). A solution to the crisis must entail a comprehensive effort to fulfill all SDG commitments in each country to ensure a sustainable future for Central Americans. In this vein, The Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA) which, in collaboration with other prominent human rights organizations, continued the conversation about human rights this week in a joint statement highlighting the need for the Biden administration to focus on human rights and equitable governance while establishing immigration enforcement agreements with Mexico and Guatemala. There is concern that immigration talks between the U.S., Mexico, and Guatemala have overly emphasized enforcement and military involvement while overlooking actions which address the root causes of migration, such as human rights violations and environmental justice concerns. The Biden administration’s approach to stemming the flow of migration at the border must include listening and supporting civil society organizations, anti-corruption advocates, and environmental activists to develop truly equitable and effective immigration agreements. 
Happy Reading, 
Melina Smith, Research Fellow, Region360.org
Additional Events and Reports:
We encourage you to watch the recordings of the special series Activistas por la vida. Alternativas al colapso socioambiental desde América Latina, organized by the Centro Maria Sibylla Merian de Estudios Latinoamericanos Avanzados (CALAS), a playlist of conversations among scholars activists on the challenges of human rights and ecological degradation in Latin America. Find it below in the event recordings section…
Articles, analysis, and reports…
Global: Official Broadcast | World Environment Day Global: Official Broadcast | World Environment Day
In focus: human rights for environmental protectors
Regional: Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente--llamado de movilización Regional: Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente--llamado de movilización
Mexico: the Escazú Agreement seeks protection for environmental defenders in Mexico
Mexico: avances y desafíos en la transparencia socioambiental Mexico: avances y desafíos en la transparencia socioambiental
Brazil: UN experts deplore attacks by illegal miners on indigenous peoples; alarmed by mercury levels
The migrant crisis: human rights and socioeconomic development
Migrant crisis: International civil society organizations call for more decisive action to address root causes of migration and restore asylum Migrant crisis: International civil society organizations call for more decisive action to address root causes of migration and restore asylum
Migrant crisis: Vice president Harris should address human rights and the rule of law in first visits to Mexico and Guatemala
Migrant crisis, open access report : Entre la espera y el asentamiento by CLACSO Migrant crisis, open access report : Entre la espera y el asentamiento by CLACSO
Migrant crisis, webinar: the unique struggles of indigenous migrants Migrant crisis, webinar: the unique struggles of indigenous migrants
Migrant crisis, US coverage: Harris-led campaign to stem migration from Central America faces steep challenges Migrant crisis, US coverage: Harris-led campaign to stem migration from Central America faces steep challenges
In other climate and sustainability policy news…
Regional, sustainable development: preocupa que América Latina opte por el extractivismo para su recuperación económica Regional, sustainable development: preocupa que América Latina opte por el extractivismo para su recuperación económica
Brazil, Amazon, open access report: Canada dominates Amazon energy and mining
El Salvador, SDG6: El peligro de una Ley General de Aguas mercantilista
Past event recaps, recordings, and summaries…
Event recording: special series on ecology and human rights. Activistas por la vida. Contestando las violencias del antropoceno desde América Latina. CALAS Event recording: special series on ecology and human rights. Activistas por la vida. Contestando las violencias del antropoceno desde América Latina. CALAS
Event recap: Innovation in water and sanitation management within the framework of the IV Latin American and Caribbean Forum on Housing and Habitat
Event recap, SDG6, Central America: Integrated Water Resources Management in Central America
Event recap, energy, Central America: La importancia de los mercados mayoristas de electricidad
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