Lalo de Almeida/Panos/Global Witness

The twelve months up to July 2020 were the worst in over a decade for deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. An estimated 11,000km2 of primary forest was cleared between August 2019 and July 2020 — not since 2008 has the rate of clearance been so high. 11,000km2 is equivalent to an area 14 times the size of New York City.

New data released at the end of last year by PRODES — a satellite monitoring project run by the Brazilian government which detects signs of clear cutting in the Amazon — shows that deforestation rose by an estimated 9.5% …

Goldman Environmental Prize

Review by Ben Leather

“I want to live, there are many things I still want to do in this world. I take precautions, but in the end… When they want to kill me, they will do it.”

As midnight approached on 2 March 2016, Berta Cáceres lay dying in her friend’s arms. Gunmen had broken into her bungalow and shot her three times, before attempting to murder her fellow environmentalist Gustavo Castro too.

Berta’s prophecy had come true. But how? Who murdered her? And which political and economic interests had conspired to leave this inspirational leader — who only months…


Every week, we are each ingesting a credit card’s worth of plastic, a recent study suggests. Plastic waste has invaded every corner of the planet — including our bodies. And here’s an ugly truth: We cannot recycle our way out of this problem. Tackling the crisis of plastic pollution means taking on the industry that props up plastics: Big Oil & Gas.

We have a serious plastic problem. More than 9.2 billion tons of plastic have been produced since 1950 — that’s more than one ton for each living person on Earth. …

Goldman Environmental Prize

In many parts of the world, standing up for the environment is a deadly undertaking.

Few places are more dangerous than Honduras. It was four years ago that Honduran activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated for protecting her ancestral land from the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Despite the international outcry that followed Berta’s murder, the Honduran government is consistently failing in its duty to protect its own citizens. In fact, land and environmental defenders in the Central American state face more lethal and non-lethal threats today than they did in 2016.

On 2 March 2016, armed men broke into Berta’s home in the middle of the night and shot her dead. She had dedicated several…

Texas is set to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer, putting the climate and our future at stake

Banner saying “Love & Protect Our Beautiful Earth”
Photo by: John Cameron on Unsplash

Houston is set to welcome ten presidential candidates today for another round of Democratic debates. This follows an unprecedented seven hour town hall dedicated to climate last week — ahead of which nearly all candidates unveiled their ambitious climate plans.

While gun control and immigration are top of the list for candidates to debate, climate must also remain at the forefront — especially due to the out-sized role that Texas plays in new oil and gas production. If we are…

As momentum builds ahead of the Global Climate Strike next week, we could all find inspiration in the form of 75-year-old grandmother Gillian Kelly, a working-class woman from Lancashire.

She’s part of a growing group of protestors who have been fighting for the last two years to stop fracking from destroying their village community near Preston. In 2017, Gillian and several members of her family were arrested for creating a human shield to stop machinery from entering a fracking site.

But she has no regrets: “I have little grandchildren — very little grandchildren — and I can’t bear to…

Photo credit: Flickr/7beachbum

Over the course of this year, an estimated 1.4 million students across 150 countries have taken part in a wave of youth climate marches.

Life on earth is under immense pressure. The climate crisis threatens the ability of the planet to remain habitable for humanity. Young people have been foregoing their schooling each Friday to teach the rest of us a lesson: our house is on fire.

Now, these young people are asking everyone else to heed their call and join in. …

Photo credit: Still from Virunga, dir. Orlando von Einsiedel (2014)

Films have the power to inspire action, shed light on hidden stories and even change the world for the better. As the awards season begins with the BAFTAs and Oscars this month, we asked Global Witness staff to nominate their favourite anti-corruption, human rights or environmental films.

If you want to protect our planet…

Virunga (2014)

Virunga is a beautiful and powerful documentary which brings together several compelling narratives: the terrible violence that has ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of ­­Congo (DRC); the British oil company seeking to drill in the midst of the beauty of Africa’s oldest national park; the incredible young journalist on the case; and the…

A protest at the White House calling for an end to the current government shutdown. Photo: AFGE

Earlier this week, Americans woke up to a shuttered Washington, D.C. A snowstorm had hit the region, effectively closing the government. But that paled in comparison to the fact that key executive agencies in the US have been closed for nearly a month due to a lapse in funding.

With the daily scandals, resignations, and ongoing investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election, the daily news updates almost sound like they’ve come from a far-fetched Netflix show. But they haven’t — this is reality in Trump’s America.

Two years into his…

The world’s governments are assembling in Katowice, Poland for ‘COP24’ — the 24th ‘Conference Of the Parties’ held under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference. Even the name of the conference is exasperating — the fact that we are up to conference no.24 and we are not on course to stop catastrophic climate breakdown yet is devastating.

COP23, Bonn © Wikimedia Creative Commons / Spielvogel

But at Global Witness, we believe that every act we take brings the birth of a green, safe, and just world a little closer. The climate fight is not hopeless.

Global Witness

Exposing and challenging corruption that drives environmental and human rights abuses.

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