Tricky Business: Space for Civil Society in Natural Resource Struggles, Study Launch and Discussion

6:30pm-7:15pm | 24 January | Berlin

All across the world, civil society is under pressure, some even speak of a global emergency. In a growing number of countries, civil society has less room to maneuver: repressive measures against NGOs, community-based organizations or environmental and human rights activists are widespread and get ever more sophisticated. Many countries worldwide rely on the exploitation of natural resources as an important source of economic activity and public income. Yet when people in those countries legitimately want a say in the stewardship of their collective natural resources, they often experience push-backs from political and corporate entities seeking to defend their own interests. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation took a look behind the curtain of shrinking space for civil society.

Based upon research in four countries – India, Mexico, South Africa, and Philippines – the study “Tricky Business: Space for Civil Society in Natural Resource Struggles”, prepared jointly by ECCHR and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, uncovers patterns and dynamics of shrinking civic spaces in the natural resource arena and especially elaborates on response strategies. The authors of the study Carolijn Terwindt and Christian Schliemann will present and discuss the findings at this joint event in Berlin. 

A second panel will explore more in depth the state of affairs in one of the countries that were part of the research for above study: India. The renown human rights lawyer Kranti L.C. (executive director of the Human Rights Law Network) from India will reflect on the current situation, dilemmas and tentative ways to respond to multiple forms of pressures based on first-hand insight from the country. 


06:30 pm       


Presentation of the study by its authors: Carolijn Terwindt and Christian Schliemann (ECCHR)

Introduced and moderated by Barbara Unmüssig, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation      

07:15 pm


Report by Kranti L.C. (HRLN)

Introduced and moderated by Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR

The event will be held in English. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event and kindly ask that you register at [email protected] until 17 January 2018 (please note that no confirmation will be sent).