Education Resource

Meet the Journalist: Fred Pearce

Two hundred environmental and human rights activists are assassinated each year, according to Global Witness. Fred Pearce traveled to three continents to explore the background to the slaying of three of these. His project, Environmental Martyrs, took him to Sarawak, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, to find out why a political activist who spoke out for forest communities losing their traditional lands to oil-palm companies was shot dead on his way to work. To South Africa, where an activist in Pondoland on the country’s “Wild Coast” lost his life while fighting against a major titanium-mining project. And to Honduras, an increasingly violent country, where activist Berta Cáceres was killed in her own home by people with links to government security services, apparently for opposing a hydro-dam on the land of the Lenca people. In each case he found a background of long struggle increasingly marred by violent attacks on community leaders and activists whose only crime was to speak up for their people and their environment.