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Environmental degradation affects individuals and communities in a variety of ways. Toxic pollution creates health problems, large dams displace entire communities, mining and fracking destroys freshwater sources that cities and towns rely on. AIDA pioneered the use of international human rights law to protect environmental resources. We’ve also strengthened international law to protect human rights abuses stemming from environmental destruction. 

Projects

Supporting indigenous Guatemalan women in their struggle for their water
Supporting indigenous Guatemalan women in their struggle for their water We advise indigenous communities in the micro-region of Ixquisis, Guatemala on how to best defend their water and natural resources from the damages of large dams. Learn More
sun rising over the salt flats in Bolivia. Coordinating the Environmental Justice Network of Bolivia
Coordinating the Environmental Justice Network of Bolivia We're working with organizations, individuals and institutions committed to the defense of a healthy environment in Bolivia to create a space for the development of joint strategies using legal and academic tools. Learn More
Supporting Cajamarca’s fight to defend its territory from mining
Supporting Cajamarca’s fight to defend its territory from mining We're providing legal support to the people of Cajamarca, a rural municipality in Colombia that voted to ban all mining from its territory, who face the continued presence of a large-scale open-pit mining project that threatens their land and water. Learn More
Aerial photo of Belo Monte Halting the implementation of large dams in the Americas
Halting the implementation of large dams in the Americas We're advocating before governments, financial institutions and decision-makers to stop the funding and implementation of large dam projects, highly unsustainable energy sources that often carry huge social and environmental costs, and whose implementation aggravates climate change. Learn More
Supporting Mayan beekeepers in their struggle against GMO soy
Supporting Mayan beekeepers in their struggle against GMO soy In the forests of Southeastern Mexico, indigenous beekeepers have tended hives for hundreds of years. Passed down through generations, beekeeping is central to the cultural heritage of Mayan communities in the states of Campeche and Yucatan. But now, this heritage is threatened.  Learn More
Conserving the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta
Conserving the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta We're calling on Colombia to respond to the ecological crisis facing the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, the nation's largest coastal wetland, and take immediate actions to limit harm and preserve the unique natural area for future generations. Learn More
Stopping the spread of fracking in Latin America
Stopping the spread of fracking in Latin America We've spearheaded an alliance of people and organizations working to stop the advance of fracking in the Americas by facilitating the open exchange of information and supporting advocacy strategies to ensure governments apply the precautionary principle to fracking operations proposed in their territory. Learn More
Strengthening Protections Through the UN Human Rights System
Strengthening Protections Through the UN Human Rights System We're working through United Nations mechanisms to promote and protect the human right to a healthy environment in Latin America, and to increase international pressure on States to respect human rights within their borders. Learn More
Saving the San Pedro Mezquital River from a destructive large dam
Saving the San Pedro Mezquital River from a destructive large dam We've partnered with the indigenous communities of Nayarit to protect the last free-flowing river in the Western Sierra Madre Mountains, the San Pedro Mezquital, a sacred river that feeds Mexico's largest mangrove forest and is threatened by the proposed Las Cruces Dam. Learn More
Holding Brazil accountable for the Belo Monte Dam
Holding Brazil accountable for the Belo Monte Dam We're representing affected communities before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in a case calling on Brazil to answer for the gross human rights violations caused from the construction of the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River. Learn More
Image Organizing the Network for Environmental Justice in Colombia
Organizing the Network for Environmental Justice in Colombia We coordinate organizations and legal resources in Colombia by promoting the fair and effective use of international and domestic environmental law, in particular, the right to a healthy environment. Through seminars and strategic public outreach, we facilitate the free and open exchange of legal information and support. Learn More
Protecting the health of La Oroya's residents from toxic pollution
Protecting the health of La Oroya's residents from toxic pollution For two decades we've represented residents of La Oroya in their quest to improve air and water quality in their highly contaminated town, long home to a controversial metal smelter, and to receive adequate medical attention for the damages inflicted by years of pollution. Learn More

Victories

Plan Colombia: Aerial Spraying in Colombia

Freshwater Sources, Human Rights | 22 June 2015

Victory: Aerial Spraying Stopped in Colombia

For 15 years beginning in 2000, the United States and Colombia sent airplanes to spray toxic pesticides over Colombian coca and poppy fields. The multi-million-dollar program was called Plan Colombia. The pesticides drifted over homes, vegetable fields, livestock, rivers, and forests. Indigenous...read more

Freshwater Sources, Human Rights, Mining, Oceans | 23 December 2010

Victory: Crucitas gold mine cancelled for environmental harm

In Costa Rica, for the first time, a high-level court cancelled a large-scale mining project for the first time because it violated national laws and threatened the health of the environment. AIDA played an important role in establishing this precedent. The company, Industrias Infinito, with the...read more

Human Rights, Indigenous Rights | 18 October 2010

Constitutional Court Defends Right to Prior Consultation

On January 23, 2008, the Colombian Constitutional Court declared the Forest Law of 2006 to be unconstitutional and therefore, invalid, because lawmakers did not consult with indigenous, afrodescendant, and tribal communities during development of the law as required. This decision is an advance for...read more

People

When the violation of the rights of Amazonian peoples in Brazil receive no response nationally, these communities find in AIDA a voice in the Americas. I am grateful that you exist.
Felicio Pontes Jr., Attorney, Federal Public Ministry, Brazil