Please donate today and help build peace throughout southeast Asia. Support our work to grow trust, cooperation, and positive relationships. Invest in the crucial work of women environmental defenders. 

Preserving a vital region 

The Mekong region is one of the world’s most important and biologically diverse areas. Encompassing Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, it features rare wildlife and spectacular natural landscapes. Preserving this environment is not only crucial for the millions of people who rely on it for their livelihoods, but it is essential for us all as we combat climate change. 

Destruction and conflict 

Land-grabbing, illegal logging, smuggling and the over extraction of natural resources are having a terrible impact. Activities like damming rivers and deforestation not only cause ecological destruction but massively damage communities and society. As people lose their homes and sources of food, tensions increase. Trust breaks down between different groups. This leads to conflict and, far too often, violence. 

Murdered for protecting their land 

Individuals are putting their lives on the line to preserve this region. In 2020 Global Witness recorded the murder of 227 environmental defenders around the world, but the actual figure is thought to be much higher. These defenders are targeted by the corporations and groups whose practices are damaging the environment. 

Even worse for women 

Women environmental defenders face a double discrimination. They often lack education, opportunities, and role models. Most communities do not expect women to become leaders. This makes things incredibly difficult for them to become environmental defenders, and when they do, like their male colleagues, their lives are at risk. 

Empowering the most marginalised 

Women environmental defenders are the most vulnerable and marginalised in this epic ecological struggle. And yet, to rise above their adversity, they show amazing courage and tenacity. It is these women that Cord’s ‘EMPOWER’ project will be supporting. And you can support them too. 

Peaceful preservation 

In the coming years ‘EMPOWER’ will work with all parties involved in this complex situation. We will bring opposing groups together, build trust and develop relationships. We will support women environmental defenders at a local level. We will also help them have a voice in political policy and decision-making processes. By bringing people together we can help build peace whilst preserving this precious environment. 

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