‘Children won’t be able to survive’: inter-American court to hear from climate victims

Last Updated: June 20, 2024By

A Fisher’s Cry: Battling Climate Change in Colombia’s Gulf

image

Julian Medina hails from a lineage of fishermen along Colombia’s Gulf of Morrosquillo, employing age-old techniques to net their catch of mackerel, tuna, and cojinúa. He strayed into entrepreneurship briefly but was beckoned back to his roots, eventually leading a local fishing outfit. For years, he’s waged a war against encroaching fossil fuel giants, pollution, and rampant overfishing, all wreaking havoc on the gulf’s fragile ecosystem and the community’s sustenance.

image

“It’s been a rough ride,” Medina laments. “We’ve seen a whopping 70% plunge in our catch over the past decade, leaving many families grappling with hunger in an already struggling region. And now? Now we’re snagging fish so small they barely meet the minimum size, robbing us of future security.”

image

His ire is palpable towards the fossil fuel juggernauts gobbling up the coast, spewing oil spills in their wake, and towards the authorities, turning a blind eye to community efforts to revive mangrove forests. He’s equally troubled by the warming waters, bleaching the vibrant coral reefs his prey calls home.

image

“We’re witnessing how big industry is tearing through our ecosystem,” he says, frustration etched into every word. “But we’re also feeling the pinch of climate change. It’s a battle, and we’re fighting tooth and nail to make our plight heard.”

image

Medina is poised to share his saga with a panel of judges in Barbados, marking the inception of a landmark climate change hearing by the inter-American court of human rights. This inquiry, spearheaded by Colombia and Chile, seeks to delineate states’ legal obligations in combating climate change and safeguarding human rights.

image

The petition delves into numerous facets, from the rights of children and women to the responsibilities of nations, emphasizing equity and justice. It underscores the disparate impact of climate change, with countries like Chile and Colombia already reeling from its daily onslaught of droughts, floods, landslides, and fires.

image

While courts worldwide are increasingly tying climate justice to human rights, it’s the global south leading the charge. Unlike its counterparts, the inter-American court uniquely focuses on human rights, with a knack for innovative legal interpretations.

image

As the court gears up for hearings spanning Brasília to Manaus, frontline voices like Medina’s, buoyed by organizations like Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (Aida), are set to echo through the chambers, connecting the dots between environmental degradation and climate change.

image

Once the court’s opinion is rendered, it’s expected to wield significant sway, potentially catalyzing climate action, bolstering adaptation efforts, and furnishing a legal framework to address loss and damage. For Medina and countless others, it’s not just a legal maneuver; it’s about ensuring that the voices of those on the frontlines of climate change are not just heard but heeded.

image

latest video

news via inbox

Nulla turp dis cursus. Integer liberos  euismod pretium faucibua

Leave A Comment