22 September 2020 at 9:50 am
This week, another 15 environmental justice activists started the 2020 Environmental Rights & Remedies Course for Activists, presented annually by attorneys from the Centre for Environmental Rights. Unlike previous courses, which took place in Cape Town, this course is virtual – opening the door to reaching many more activists across the country in future.
Activists for the 2020 course were selected from a large number of nominations of activists involved in defending their communities’ rights to a healthy environment. Participants in this year’s class hail from Sekhukhune in Limpopo, Sebokeng in the Vaal, and Emalahleni and Carolina in Mpumalanga, and represent environmental justice organisations like Sisonke Environmental Justice Network, Sekhukhune Combined Communities Monitoring Mining Forum, and the Khuthala Environmental Care Group. Many of these activists bear the environmental and socio-economic brunt of polluting industries operating close to their homes and places of work.
The Centre for Environmental Rights’ annual Environmental Rights & Remedies Course for activists is a key component of CER’s support for environmental justice activists. Developed from a demand from our community partners for rights training, and building on existing initiatives like groundWork’s Environmental Justice School, the Rights & Remedies Course empowers participants with skills in using the law and legal remedies to advance their struggles. It also connects activists with each other in a peer support and learning network. For the next ten weeks, participants will be assigned CER attorneys as mentors on pressing environmental issues faced in their respective communities.
Since 2017, CER has trained more than 50 environmental justice activists.
Our Environmental Rights & Remedies Course for Activists is supported by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust.