The “Women Environmental and Human Rights Defenders” series is a Magazine Libera segment where women defending nature and the environment discuss their work, vision, and provide economic, social, political, and cultural analysis to the current environmental issues affecting their countries. Topics covered include ecofeminism, land defenders, indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, destructive environmental policies, and resistance to extractive economies.
GUEST SPEAKER – Olimpia Castillo Blanco is a biologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a Master Candidate in Environmental Education from the National Pedagogical University. She is the director of the organization “Comunicación y Educación Ambiental SC” since 1995, and is also a member of the “Iniciativa de Acceso México”, a coalition of civil society organizations that since 2001 has been working to promote Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, that resulted in having achieved the Escazú Agreement in the region.
In this interview, Olimpia analyzes the different environmental problems that Mexico currently faces and highlights the importance of women’s rights to land and other productive resources and the barriers they encounter in attempting to access public participation and decision-making on environmental issues in their territories.
She also explains how Mexico was key to the ratification and entry into force of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as the Escazú Agreement (It will enter into force on April 22, 2021, which is International Mother Earth Day).