The Second Annual Forum on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean will take place on September 26-28, 2023, in Panama City.
The meeting is being organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (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), UN Women, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the support of the World Bank.
At this Second Forum, participants 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 Plan of Action on human rights defenders in environmental matters that will be examined at the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Escazú Agreement (COP-3), which will be held on April 22-24, 2024 at ECLAC’s headquarters in Santiago.
The Forum’s main objectives are to: a) Reflect and raise awareness on the situation and risks faced by human rights defenders in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean; b) 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 strengthening capacities and cooperation among the Parties, the public and other key actors in this area; and d) Discuss and receive proposals for drafting and revising the Action Plan in the breakout groups with all participants.
The meeting will take place in person in the conference rooms of the Hotel W Panama in the Panamanian capital, and will also be transmitted online. It will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday, September 27 at 8:30 a.m. local time in Panama City (GMT/UTC -5) by Milciades Concepción, Minister of Environment of Panama; Marcelo Cousillas, Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Escazú Agreement; Ana Patricia Graça, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Panama; Nicole Leotaud, elected representative of the public; and Carlos de Miguel of ECLAC.
After the inauguration, four panel discussions will be held to address issues such as the new challenges and risks faced by human rights defenders in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean; lessons and challenges in the implementation of initiatives and mechanisms for the promotion, prevention and protection of the rights of individuals, groups and organizations that defend the environment; the Escazú Agreement as a framework for action: Towards a Regional Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters; and national implementation plans and the fulfillment of Article 9 of the Escazú Agreement.
Prior to this, on Tuesday, September 26, preparatory meetings of the public will take place, along with an open meeting of the ad hoc Working Group on human rights defenders in environmental matters and an open meeting entitled “Introduction to the work of the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance.” In addition, a documentary called “The Illusion of Abundance” will be screened.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, September 28, the breakout groups will convene to compile inputs for the elaboration of the regional Action Plan, and the meeting’s conclusions will be presented.
This event’s full programme is available on ECLAC’s website: https://www.cepal.org/en/events/second-annual-forum-human-rights-defenders-environmental-matters-latin-america-and-caribbean
Journalists and other members of the press who wish to cover the forum in person are requested to write to Nayeli Williams, Public Relations for the Environment Ministry of Panama, at the following email: email@example.com
The event’s official activities can be followed live online via the web page https://live.cepal.org/escazu.
What: Second Annual Forum on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.
When: Tuesday, September 26 to Thursday, September 28, 2023.
Where: Hotel W Panama, Calle 50 and Aquilino de la Guardia, Panama City 80809 Panama.
Inauguration (Wednesday, September 27, 8:30 a.m. local time in Panama):
- Milciades Concepción, Minister of Environment of Panama.
- Ana Patricia Graça, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Panama.
- Marcelo Cousillas, Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Environment of Uruguay, Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Escazú Agreement.
- Nicole Leotaud, elected representative of the public of the Escazú Agreement.
- Carlos de Miguel, Officer-in-Charge of ECLAC’s Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division.
Live transmission via: https://live.cepal.org/escazu
For queries related to journalistic coverage of this event, contact:
- In Santiago, Chile, ECLAC’s Public Information Unit. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040.
- In Panama City, contact Nayeli Williams, Public Relations for the Environment Ministry of Panama. Email: email@example.com