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Second Annual Forum on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean

26 September 2023|Event

Second Annual Forum on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, 26-28 September de 2023, Panama City, Panamá

Organizers: ECLAC, in its capacity as Secretariat of the Escazú Agreement, in partnership with the Government of Panama, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the support of the World Bank.

The Second Forum, which will take place in Panama City from September 26-28, will address the situation of human rights defenders in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, share experiences and best practices in the promotion, prevention and protection of environmental defenders, and continue discussions and consultations on the Action Plan.

  • Objectives of the Second Annual Forum

a. To reflect and raise awareness on the situation and risks faced by human rights defenders in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.

b. To learn about existing mechanisms and initiatives for the promotion, prevention and protection of human rights defenders in the world and in the region.

c. Contribute to strengthen capacities and cooperation among the Parties, the public and other key actors in the field.

d. To discuss and receive proposals for the Action Plan at the breakout groups with all participants.

The conclusions of the forum and the breakout groups will be reflected in a final report that will serve as input for the preparation and review of the Action Plan by the Working Group.

  • Forum Format

On September 26 there will be space for preparatory meetings prior to the Forum. On September 27, the Forum will begin and will have a plenary format, where expert panels, round table discussions and selected testimonies of defenders will seek to delve deeper into the topic and raise awareness of the situation of human rights defenders in the region, identify new challenges and existing national and regional initiatives or mechanisms for protection in this area.

On September 28, a focused discussion of the Action Plan, with breakout groups focused on each of its workstreams, which will report their results to the plenary.

The forum will be in person with live transmission at 

The breakout groups will be in person and virtual, which will operate in parallel.

Simultaneous interpretation Spanish-English will be provided.

  • Panelists and target audience

The Second Forum will be attended by the Parties to the Escazú Agreement, recognized specialists on the subject, key stakeholders, and the general public, especially human rights defenders, indigenous peoples and local communities, and vulnerable individuals or groups who defend the environment.

  • Participation and registration

There will be participation in person throughout the Forum (including the breakout groups) subject to registration and confirmation of accreditation, depending on the space available at the event venue. Registration is personal and non-transferable


For those unable to attend in person, there will be a live streaming at:

Additionally, there will be virtual participation of the public in the breakout groups during the second day of the Forum (September 28), subject to prior registration. Those who registered to participate virtually in the breakout groups will soon receive an email with the instructions and the assigned group. The deadline to register closed on 14/9.


Practical information

Venue: Hotel W panama, Calle 50 and Aquilino de la Guardia, Panama City  80809 Panamá

*Note: Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses for their accommodation and stay at the Forum.

**It is important to check the requirements for entry into Panama, especially the vaccinations required or recommended by Panama.