Protecting people’s rights and defenders of territories is essential to Friends of the Earth International (FoEI)’s commitment to transformative system change, and to building environmental, social, economic and gender justice. We will continue to fight for these rights while dismantling corporate impunity.

The world has witnessed a resurgence of conservative ideology that has taken on a particularly authoritarian character, rejecting traditional forms of politics, media and knowledge itself. Right-wing regimes are fostering political instability and actively eroding democratic principles. As the neoliberal capitalist system expands, stripping back regulations, privatising all aspects of our lives and ‘shrinking’ the state, repressive governments are imposing themselves with ever greater force. Transnational corporations continue to extract and exploit natural resources in the name of profit. The expansion of a neoliberal economic system is itself an underlying cause of the multiple crises we face – climate, biodiversity, food, water, and health crises, among others – which threaten ecological systems and livelihoods. 

Yet, in the face of crisis, people are organising to defend territories and rights, and questioning the very principles at the root of a system in dire need of transformative change to protect and improve life on Earth. 

Given the particular circumstances of working to ensure environmental justice globally, FoEI considers it necessary to engage in the international debate to define what is understood as human rights.