Our most-read blog of 2016 was in response to Enodo Rights’ report on Barrick Gold’s Remedy Framework, the grievance mechanism set up by Barrick to address claims of rape and other sexual violence by security personnel at its gold mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
We could not stay silent.
In August, World Bank executives approved the third and final draft of its Environmental and Social Framework. Although a few aspects of the new Framework deserve praise, it was largely a lost opportunity for the World Bank as it represents a major step backward in terms of ensuring social and environmental protections for communities affected by Bank-financed development.
On March 3, 2016, head of the indigenous rights group COPINH and environmental activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras. Over the years, she had received multiple death threats because of her work defending indigenous Lenca land against the Agua Zarca dam project in Río Blanco. These threats had escalated in recent weeks since construction of the dam had restarted.
Several days after her assassination, we wrote a letter to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, demanding an independent investigation into the circumstances around her death.
Berta was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015.
After we published our most-read blog of 2016, Yousuf Aftab of Enodo Rights, the consulting firm hired by Barrick Gold to write a report on their Remedy Framework in Papua New Guinea, wrote a rebuttal. This blog is a public response to his comments.
5. I am a River
Lily, a former student at our EarthRights School Mekong, wrote her blog from a river’s perspective to highlight the dangers of hydropower and the importance of keeping our rivers clean and free-flowing.
“I’m a river. I have flowed for millions of years, and will continue to flow. Without me, humans will die out, but without humans, I will still exist.”