Dying for Your Planet

by Rolly Montpellier

Have you ever thought about what you value so much that you'd be willing to die for? What immediately comes to my mind is that I would do anything to keep my children and grandchildren safe. And millions of activists around the globe feel the same way. These are people who have taken up the fight to save their community and their way of life. What would you sacrifice to save our planet Earth? Would you pay the ultimate price? Is it a planet to die for?

The country of Honduras is a hotbed for the persecution of activists determined to save their way of life from the ravages of resource extraction and exploitation by their government and foreign companies. Death has become a part of life for environmental activists in Honduras. On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home after years of threats to her life and that of family members. She was murdered by US trained Special Forces after being on a military hit list reports The Guardian in a June article.

Global Witness reports that at least 116 environmental activists were murdered in 2014. And 2015 has since become the worst year ever with 185 murders in 16 countries around the world.

Billy Kyte is a Global Witness campaign leader and the author of On Dangerous Ground. The report documents the killings by country during the previous five years:

We're seeing industries like mining, hydro dams and agribusiness encroaching more and more into previously untouched areas rich in resources and coming into conflict with local communities who live there, particularly indigenous peoples.

The killing of Berta Cáceres this year shows that anyone is now fair game... For such a high-profile activist to be gunned down in her home proves that the perpetrators of violence are becoming more audacious and are targeting anyone who gets in their way.

The Numbers Are Shocking

These numbers are shocking, and evidence that the environment is emerging as a new battleground for human rights. Across the world industry is pushing ever deeper into new territory, driven by consumer demand for products like timber, minerals and palm oil. Increasingly communities that take a stand are finding themselves in the firing line of companies’ private security, state forces and a thriving market for contract killers.

The following video depicts the declining condition of our planet and the fate of so many who have died defending it. It provides a sobering look at the condition of our world and the plight of many who have lost their life in their quest to save our planet.

The film is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. It was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network. In memoriam found at 3:36 minutes of the video.

Rolly Montpellier

Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of Below2C.org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a Blogger and a Climate Activist. He’s a member of Climate Reality Canada, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Ottawa) and 350.Org (Ottawa), the Ethical Team (as an influencer) and Global Population Speakout.

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