11 Mar 2024
08:30–09:45

The Leaders Network for Environmental Activists and Defenders (LEAD) initiative will convene, on the margins of HRC55, an expert-level meeting with a cross-regional group of States, and representatives from civil society, United Nations entities, and environmental defenders themselves to discuss LEAD and evaluate the initiative’s next steps, including what Geneva’s role can and should be in LEAD.

About this Event

Environmental defenders play a crucial role in combatting climate change and environmental degradation, and protecting the planet, however they are paying a heavy price for this vital work – environmental defenders are continually subject to lethal and non-lethal attacks. While there have been important positive steps at the multilateral level to improve recognition, protection and participation of environmental defenders, many of these efforts remain disjointed. Therefore, the creation a multilateral, action-oriented initiative, in the form of the Leaders Network for Environmental Activists and Defenders (LEAD), is being proposed.

Following informal, closed-door expert-level meetings held at both Climate Week NYC, UNFCCC COP28, and UNEA-6, organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention, in collaboration with the Universal Rights Group, ALLIED, EarthRights International, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Ford Foundation, Global Focus, Global Witness, and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, the LEAD initiative will convene, on the margins of HRC55, an expert-level meeting with a cross-regional group of States, and representatives from civil society, United Nations entities, and environmental defenders themselves to discuss LEAD and evaluate the initiative’s next steps, including what Geneva’s role can and should be in LEAD.

Participation

The event is by invitation only. You may contact Joseph Burk (joseph@unviersal-rights.org) should you wish to reach out.