April 22nd, Earth day: entry into force of the Escazú Agreement

In 1969, in an American context in which discontent with environmental problems was increasing, the senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson -whose campaigns on the subject had not been effective- had the idea of ​​organizing a protest for the protection of the environment. environment. This is why, together with the activist Denis Hayes, they organized the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, a date chosen so that the largest number of university students could participate.

Today, although in the midst of the socio-environmental crisis, we celebrate the entry into force of the Escazú Agreement, the first regional environmental agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean and the first in the world to contain specific provisions on human rights defenders in environmental matters. Its objective is to guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters, as well as the creation and strengthening capacities and cooperation, contributing to the protection of the right of each person, of present and future generations, to live in a healthy environment and to their sustainable development.

This agreement, in the words of Andres Nápoli from FARN Argentina, “gives us tools so that we can get involved, participate and be protagonists of the decisions made around us”. From our place, we will continue working to strengthen participation in the matter of adequate seeds for sustainable agriculture, seeking to contribute to their greater availability and access, through open knowledge and support to producers in participatory plant breeding processes.

We also consider it urgent to enact laws for the implementation of environmental education, the protection of wetlands, and the incorporation into the Penal Code of a chapter on environmental crimes.