People march with a banner that says We Act for Environmental Justice

Earth Month: Take action in April and beyond

Around the world, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, a day to show support for protection of our beautiful blue planet and all life on it.

Amid the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s clear that action is needed every day to protect the environment on which our shared future depends.

It’s a matter of human rights – arguably the most pressing one we collectively face. The right to water, food, health, housing, livelihoods, safety, and life itself for millions of people is threatened by extreme heat, wildfires and drought in some regions, while millions of others suffer equally devastating storms and flooding of unprecedented proportions.

This has a disproportionate impact on Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities in Canada and around the world.

Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief Na'Moks speaks at a street protest in Montreal against the Coastal GasLink pipeline
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks speaks in Montreal about RBC investment in the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory, which is being built without the free, prior and informed consent of the affected Indigenous people Photo: Éric Carrière

It’s no wonder that these communities are leading the way, organizing and speaking up for what is needed to protect lands, water, forests, clean air and climate justice. It’s also no wonder that this puts them on a collision course with powerful companies, authorities, and economic interests who continue to put short term profits before human rights. For example, in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia, Indigenous people continue to face surveillance, harassment, intimidation and criminalization as they confront threats to their lands, water and rights posed by construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

From Wet’suwet’en territory to Central America and beyond, defenders of lands and water are literally under attack.

Our solidarity action with them couldn’t be more important, along with action to confront policies that support fossil fuels and resource extraction at the expense of people and the environment!


Learn More

Poster for an event called Earth Day is Every Day, with photos of guest speakers from Honduras, Mexico and Wet'suwet'en territory in B.C.

On April 30, we organized a webinar to hear from inspiring defenders on the frontlines of dangerous struggles to protect land, water, rights and climate justice across the Americas. They included Juana Zúniga, a threatened defender of the Guapinol River in Honduras; Afro-Zapoteca defender Marina Flores Cruz of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory in Oaxaca, Mexico and Chief Na’moks of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, criminalized for efforts to stop construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Watch a recording of the webinar in English here. The Spanish language version is here.

Cover image of the Stop Burning Our Rights Amnesty report

Want to learn more about Amnesty’s position on climate change and the analysis driving our calls to authorities? Read:

Stop Fossil Fuel Proliferation: E-action and Letter-writing

Smoke and gas flares rise from an oil operation in Alberta
Oil operation beside the Athabasca River in Alberta. Photo: Mark Ralston, AFP via Getty Images

The role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis is indisputable. Yet Canada continues to be the second largest provider of public finance for fossil fuels in the G20. Canada’s export bank continues to direct billions of dollars in loans, insurance and other support to climate destructive fossil fuel activity in Canada and other countries.

Click here to call on Canadian decision makers to stop bankrolling fossil fuel proliferation.

Already signed the action? Help multiply our impact by encouraging friends and family to sign too! More signatures tell the government this is an action they cannot ignore.

Write a letter to Export Development Canada

Ask for answers to pointed questions? Note: if you put a question in your letter, EDC must publish it on their website, along with their response.

  • Start by explaining who you are
  • Express your concern that EDC continues to direct billions of dollars in loans, insurance and other support to climate-destructive fossil fuel activity in Canada and other countries, including more than $7.7 billion in support to the oil and gas sector in 2022, an increase of over 50 percent over the previous year, amid a worsening climate crisis.
  • Ask EDC how they respond to Amnesty’s recommendation, in Stop Burning our Rights: What Governments and Corporations Must Do To Protect Humanity from the Climate Crisis, that financial institutions should stop financing and investing in new projects, activities and industries that drive fossil fuel expansion and deforestation, ensuring that funding and investments for the most polluting fossil fuels and forms of production, such as coal, peat, fracking and tar sands, are phased out as soon as responsibly possible or by 2030 at the latest?

Send your letter to:

  • Mairead Lavery, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Export Development Canada
  • 150 Slater St., Ottawa, ON K1A 1K3
  • Email:
  • Please send us a copy of your letter to so that we can refer to your letters in our advocacy with EDC and Government of Canada decision-makers.
Protesters hold a banner that says: FOSSIL FUELS KILL
Protesters at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in November 2022. Photo: Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Defend the Defenders

A tweet by Gidimt'en Checkpoint on March 29 about an RCMP raid and arrests in Wet'suwet'en territory.
An alert sent out on Twitter on March 29 regarding a RCMP raid and arrests in Wet’suwet’en Territory

The RCMP raided Wet’suwet’en territory on March 29, less than three weeks after the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples expressed concern about criminalisation of Wet’suwet’en land defenders during his visit to Canada. The RCMP arrested five land and water defenders who oppose the ongoing construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory. The March 29 raid is the latest act in a longstanding campaign of violence, intimidation and dispossession against Indigenous land defenders. Read more in our news release. Listen to Chief Na’moks of the Wet’suwet’en Nation here.

Images of two defenders of the Guapinol River who were killed in January 2023.

Community members in Tocoa, Honduras face death threats and surveillance by cars with no plates as they continue to defend the Guapinol River and seek cancellation of an iron ore extraction and processing operation beside the river, an important source of water for the community. Two members of the community’s environmental defence committee were killed in January. Learn more about this urgent situation at our webinar on April 30, when Juana Zúniga will join us to share the view from the ground in Guapinol.

Urgent Action for Water Defenders at risk in Colombia

Water defenders like Yuli Velásquez and Yuvelis Morales have also come under attack for their efforts to stop fracking and its impact on the environment in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia. According to a new report by Front Line Defenders, almost half of human rights defenders killed last year were in Colombia. Environmental & Indigenous rights defenders were disproportionately targeted. According to Indepaz, 36 rights defenders have been killed in Colombia so far this year.

Social Media

Social media is an important way to show solidarity with defenders and demand that authorities respect and protect their rights.

Solidarity with WeT'Suwet'en Land and Water DEFENDERS

The continued harassment, intimidation and criminalisation of #Wetsuweten land and water defenders must end @JustinTrudeau @marcomendicino @Dave_Eby #WetsuwetenStrong #AllOutForWedzinKwa


Solidarity from Canada with threatened water defenders of @guapinolre. @MP_Honduras @ofchb stop criminalizing them, bring the killers of Aly Domínguez Ramos & Jairo Bonilla Ayala to justice and protect others at risk. #JusticiaParaGuapinol #VoicesAtRisk @CanEmbCRHNNI

Make your social media post more personalized and eye-catching by making a sign that communicates your solidarity with threatened Guapinol water defenders. Take a photo of yourself – or your group – holding the sign beside water that is important to you. Then post your photo on social media with a message similar to the one in the tweet below, which tags both authorities in Honduras and the defenders’ organization @guapinolre.

A social media post with a photo in front of the Humber River holding a sign that says Justicia Para Guapinol

Tabling, Postering and Public Events

Join events in your community – or create your own to make visible your calls for climate justice, protection of the right to a healthy environment for all, and protection of threatened earth defenders.

Download and print a petition calling on Canada to stop bankrolling fossil fuels. This campaign is a top priority! Also download petitions in solidarity with land and water defenders in Wet’suwet’en territory, defenders of the Guapinol River in Honduras and water defenders in Colombia. Gather signatures at tabling events. Then send them back to the address at the bottom of the petitions.

Create colourful signs to carry at public events or to put up in public places. Get inspired by the signs in the photos below!

Smiling protesters carry signs that say "Climate Action Now", "Learn From The Lorax" "Our Dependence on Fossil Fuels Must End", "People & the Environment Before Profit"
A sign held up by a protester says "CLIMATE CAN'T WAIT"
Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
A woman at a rally in South Africa holds a sign that says: THERE IS NO PLANET B"
Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images
An older woman holds a sign with an image of an oil rig, a stack of money, and the words: "THEY MAKE A KILLING"
Photo by Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty Images
A sign held high has an image of Planet Earth surrounded by hearts and says: "System change. Not climate change"
Photo by Thomas Banneyer/picture alliance via Getty Images


A poster calls on Export Development Canada to divest from high carbon extractive industries that pose huge risks to people and the environment
This poster was created by the Ottawa-Gatineau Amnesty group to express their concern about Export Development Canada’s support for destructive extractive projects in Colombia and threats against Colombian defenders seeking to protect land, Indigenous territory and the environment.

Get Creative!

The sky is the limit in terms of creative ways to attract attention, raise awareness, and grow our community of concern!

For public events or simply to create a photo op for posting on social media, paint the palms of your hands black to symbolize the environmental impact of fossil fuels. You may even want to paint your face. Post your photo on social media, with a message calling on Canada and Export Development Canada to stop bankrolling fossil fuels.

a protestor holds up hands painted black to symbolize contamination by an oil company
A demonstrator wears a mask reading ‘Climate Crisis’ and holds up hands stained black during a protest against oil contamination and the fossil fuel industry in Brazil because of the damage it provokes to the poorest communities, sea life, food supplies and the climate. Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
An indigenous protestor with her face painted black to symbolize oil contamination and the fossil fuel industry.
Indigenous people and climate activists used symbolic use of black paint in a protest against oil contamination and the fossil fuel industry in front of the headquarters of the oil company Rapsol. Photo by Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images
Indigenous protestors, with their hands painted black, protest oil contamination in Ecuador
Following an $18 billion judgment against energy company Chevron from a court in Ecuador, protesters, some in traditional dress and with black hands representing oil, demonstrated in front of a United States courthouse. The contentious environmental case stems from disputes over contamination between 1964 and 1992 at an oil field in northeastern Ecuador. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Use chalk to create messages in public spaces calling for climate action, climate justice and a just transition from climate destructive fossil fuels.

A young person chalks on the sidewalk outside JP Morgan's Annual Shareholder Meeting: Youth demand stop financing fossil fuels
A protester chalks a message on the sidewalk outside JP Morgan Headquarters in New York during their Annual Shareholder Meeting to pressure the bank to heed investors voting in favor of a proposed resolution to stop funding fossil fuel expansion. Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Organize a Community Rock Painting Event

Organize an event, like the one we organized outside the national office last September, to plant a tree and around it, create an eye-catching River of Solidarity with rocks that people painted with words and symbols to express solidarity with threatened defenders of land, Indigenous territory and the environment. In times of climate crisis, we need beauty, hope and community action. The rock painting event was all about that. Find a place you could display painted rocks in your community where they would be seen and could inspire others. Take photos and share them on social media.

People paint blue and white stones stones to add to a swirling "river" of stones around a tree.
Community artist Claudia Salguero sits in front of the “river of solidarity” that she and Amnesty supporters created with painted rocks around a tree planted outside Amnesty Canada’s national office in Ottawa. The tree honours Lenca rights and river defender Berta Cáceres and all who speak up to protect land, Indigenous territory and the environment.
Painted rocks bear the words: Water Is Life in English
Water is Life! Guiding words for the ever growing global movement to achieve climate justice!
A stone painted with a tree, sun and rain.
 Blue and white painted stones bear symbols of nature and words like "life" and "Love Earth"
A stone painted blue bears the word "Hope"

Media Action

Make sure to contact your local media to tell them about what you are organizing and seek coverage. Alternatively, write a letter to the editor to express your calls for action. If you need assistance or media advice, contact Amnesty’s media officer via

Connect and Co-Create for Change

Young women march with signs that say: PEOPLE BRING CHANGE and THE OCEANS ARE RISING, SO ARE WE.
Photo by Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Looking to take action around Earth Day and beyond – as an individual or with your group? Join us on Monday, April 17 at 7 pm for an Amnesty Canada Activism Gathering. This is a space to hear more about our campaign goals, connect with other activists to share ideas and co-create innovative, community-centered initiatives for change!  

Register here to reserve your spot and join the conversation!