A longstanding goal of Earthjustice and the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) has been to sound alarms at the United Nations, in national courtrooms and in international fora such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about environmental and human rights violations associated with mines and dams. Indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of such extractive and energy industries in their territories.
Imagine being born today in the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, half way between Hawaii and New Zealand.
You join a community of 12,000 people with a unique culture, language and traditions for sustainable fishing and farming developed over thousands of years. Your country consists of nine small islands covering just 26 square kilometers and averaging only three meters above sea level. Because soils are poor and there is no surface fresh water, your family depends on rain and a thin layer of ground water to grow taro, coconut, bananas and breadfruit.