17 June 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

U.S. ends Cambodia aid programme over deforestation, targeting of activists
Reuters, 17 Jun 2021

The United States is ending a Cambodian aid programme aimed at protecting one of the country's biggest wildlife sanctuaries, citing worsening deforestation and the silencing of those who speak out about the destruction of natural resources. The U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement on Thursday that it had invested more than $100 million to combat deforestation and despite some progress high rates of illegal logging had continued in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.

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EU eyes tighter rules for 'renewable' biomass energy - draft
Reuters, 17 Jun 2021

The European Union is considering tightening rule on whether wood-burning energy can be classed as renewable and count towards green goals, according to a draft document seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The aim is to protect delicate ecosystems like old growth forests and stop wood fit for other purposes, like making furniture, from ending up as pellets or chips burned to produce biomass energy.

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UN chief: Desertification and drought destabilizing well-being of 3.2 billion people
UN News, 16 Jun 2021

Land degradation from climate change and the expansion of agriculture, cities and infrastructure “undermines the well-being of 3.2 billion people”, the UN chief said on Wednesday in his message for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. “Humanity is waging a relentless, self-destructive war on nature. Biodiversity is declining, greenhouse gas concentrations are rising, and our pollution can be found from the remotest islands to the highest peaks”, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, adding: “We must make peace with nature”.

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Climate activists take Norway to human rights court over Arctic oil plans
The Guardian, 16 Jun 2021

Six climate activists and two environmental NGOs have taken Norway to the European court of human rights (ECHR), arguing the Nordic country’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic are harming young people’s futures. The activists, Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth, want the court to rule that Oslo’s 2016 decision to grant 10 Barents Sea oil exploration licences violated article 112 of Norway’s constitution, which guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

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Bundestag adopts supply chain law tackling human rights abuses
Euractiv, 14 Jun 2021

The German Bundestag has adopted a law that will force companies to respect human rights in their supply chains, despite opposition from some political parties and industry. EURACTIV Germany reports. “We cannot build our prosperity permanently on the exploitation of people, so this law is an important step,” Labour Minister Hubertus Heil said as the Due Diligence in Supply Chains Law – whose aim is to stop human rights abuses by suppliers of German companies – was adopted on Friday (11 June).

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Why the first river in Canada to become a legal person signals a boon for Indigenous Rights
The Narwhal, 11 Jun 2021

The Muteshekau Shipu (Magpie River) runs nearly 300 kilometres in Québec’s Côte-Nord region. The river is culturally significant for the Innu and it is popular with white water paddlers and rafters. Despite efforts to protect the river, Muteshekau Shipu continues to be threatened by potential new hydroelectric dam development. But, in February, the Innu Council of Ekuanitshit and the Minganie Regional County Municipality declared the Muteshekau Shipu (Magpie River) a legal person, a move that may provide greater certainty for this majestic river’s future.

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