About the 3rd Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders Forum.
Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs) are individuals and groups who, in their personal or professional capacity and in a peaceful manner, strive to protect and promote human rights relating to the environment, including water, air, land, flora, and fauna. It is globally recognized that EHRDs play a vital role in protecting the environment and standing up for communities and individuals who are disproportionately impacted by environmental harm. EHRDs are critical partners for addressing the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change and realizing the universally recognized right to a healthy environment.
Recognizing the important role of EHRDs and the risks that they face, the 1st Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders Forum was organized in November 2021, followed by the 2nd Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders forum in October 2022. These meetings successfully connected hundreds of EHRDs from the Asia-Pacific region and facilitated peer-to-peer learning on a variety of topics such as advocacy and security.
The 3rd Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders Forum will take place in person from Wednesday, 20 September to Thursday, 21 September 2023 with an additional workshop on Procedural Environmental Rights on Friday, 22 September 2023. The theme of this year’s Forum is Strengthening protection through data collection.
Objectives of the Forum
The objectives of the Asia Pacific EHRD Forum are:
- To serve as a safe space for EHRDs to discuss ongoing challenges and regional trends in the promotion, protection, and realization of environmental rights.
- To provide a platform for peer learning amongst EHRDs across Asia Pacific.
- To provide access to information on good practices, success stories, and information on addressing violations of environmental rights.
- To encourage understanding amongst EHRDs of the benefits of data collection for advocacy.
- To build capacity on data collection on the situation of EHRDs in Asia and the Pacific by exploring existing opportunities, barriers, and risks and interrogating the processes behind data collection in Asia and the Pacific.
- To provide networking spaces for EHRDs to strengthen their networks across sub-regions.
- To learn and understand how EHRDs can safely and effectively engage with the media.
Organizers and Partners
The Forum is jointly organized by UN Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and UN ESCAP, together with Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Asia Pacific Network of Environmental Defenders (APNED), Asia Research Institute for Environmental Law (ARIEL), Diplomacy Training Programme (DTP), EarthRights International, Global Witness, Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI), World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and the Youth Empowerment Climate Action Platform (YECAP).