Last week Ugandan environmental defenders working around issues of environment and extractives met in Kampala for a 5-day workshop on risk assessment and security planning. The workshop was organized by Defend Defenders.
Five organizations working in the environment and extractives were present at the training that aimed at equipping participants with basic knowledge and skills on physical and digital security alongside empowering the participants to conduct security risk assessments and to identify strategies that would help them mitigate risks.
The workshop was inspired by a risk assessment done by DefendDefenders of the organizations that participated in the court case against Total for alleged human and environmental rights violations triggered by its operations in Uganda. Total is one of two operating companies of the Lake Albert Oil Project, together with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and of the giant pipeline EACOP project., The risk assessment concluded the need to build the capacity of the organizations involved in order to ensure they are ready to prevent and respond to any security threats related to their work.
This comes a few weeks after a similar gathering organized by 350.org took place in Brazil that brought together climate defenders from 5 continents and 23 countries whose aim was to equip participants involved with similar skills and capacity related to safety, resilience and cross-regional solidarity.