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Abby Rubinson's blog

Girls at the newly reconstructed Bislig Elementary School in the island of Leyte, one year after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region.

Just ahead of this year’s climate talks in Lima, French President François Hollande, speaking at a conference on the environment, drew an important link between human rights and climate change. Noting the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in France, he called next year’s conference, which France will host, “a new step for human rights.”

The UN climate talks in Lima, Peru.

Delegates from nations around the globe are currently in Lima to negotiate the next climate agreement. But few may know that these negotiations don’t occur (at least not entirely) behind closed doors. In fact, non-governmental organizations like Earthjustice can join in much of the action as observer organizations.

Ngöbe indigenous people are protesting a dam that will displace their homes.

“It’s been two months,” Ngöbe indigenous leader Weni Bagama told me this week, describing the Ngöbe indigenous community members who are camping alongside the banks of the Tabasará River. They are there in protest of the Barro Blanco dam, which will flood indigenous Ngöbe families—including Ms. Bagama’s—from their land. Aside from homes, a school, and cultural sites, this land of lush, leafy vegetation provides their primary source of food.

Russia is moving ahead with plans to drill in the Arctic (with BP at its side, no less). This is a clear wake-up call: Arctic basin countries need to create an agreement on international environmental standards for the Arctic.

Because oil exploration exposes the Arctic to spills that cross artificial boundaries on a map, international circumpolar environmental standards are critical to help prevent oil spills and respond effectively when they happen (lest we have another Valdez or Deepwater Horizon oil spill on our hands).

About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.