Mindanao Consultations Probe HRDs’ Status and Well-being

Recognizing the important role of frontline defenders, the Mindanao Climate Justice Resource Facility, Inc. (MCJ) conducted  in-person consultations with environmental defenders in Mindanao in December 2022.

Two consultation sessions were held—one in Davao City and one in an indigenous people’s (IP) community. The first consultation brought together human rights defenders (HRDs) from different parts of the Davao region who are considered at-risk or under attack. They discussed their current conditions regarding their security status and well-being needs. The session also provided an opportunity for HRDs to reconnect with fellow defenders, overcoming restrictions imposed by threats and reprisals.

In the second consultation, MCJ traveled to a remote IP community to hear about their situation. Local leaders talked about the impacts of the economic and climate crises on their livelihoods and agriculture. They also spoke about the current initiatives of the community to address their concerns, highlighting areas for support by advocates and allies.

Organized through MCJ’s Panalipod and Duyog programs, these consultations allowed partner HRDs to identify needs and opportunities for collaboration with the organization. Amid the challenge of shrinking civic spaces and climate change impacts, the activity allowed advocates and HRDs to reconnect, listen to the struggles of frontline environmental defenders, and chart paths moving forward.