From Guatemala to Cambodia, Russia to the Congo, it has never been more important to defend the environment. It has also never been as dangerous. Too often, the courageous men and women at the heart of these conflicts are silenced through violence and intimidation. And too often, they are constrained by limited resources, language barriers, and limited access to the fora where they can assert and protect their rights.

CIEL has a long track record of assisting such communities in bringing international attention and international action to their concerns. We work closely with communities in developing and using international processes and international law to protect their environment and defend their human rights. As a core element of this approach, we support the development of capacity within communities to assert and defend their own rights. We work to continually expand and strengthen international grievance processes for when rights have been violated and to grow the pool of communities and activists schooled in their use.