Young Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean Recognized for Their Work on the Environment
SANTIAGO, CHILE (MARCH 4, 2020)—On the second anniversary of the adoption of the Escazú Agreement, a groundbreaking treaty recognizing environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, five Youth Champions of Escazú from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were announced and honored at a ceremony in Santiago, Chile at the offices of UN ECLAC.
The Escazú Agreement, adopted in 2018, aims to ensure access to environmental information, participation in environmental decision-making and justice in environmental matters for people in countries across the region, and to decrease socio-environmental conflicts and protect environmental defenders. Currently, five countries have ratified the Agreement — Guyana, Bolivia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay. Eleven countries in the region must ratify the treaty to bring it into force and allow implementation to begin. David Boyd, United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, is already a Champion of Escazú.
The five new Youth Champions of Escazú are:
Nicole Becker, 19, from Argentina. Nicole is one of the co-founders of Young People for the Argentine Climate, a FridaysForFuture-aligned movement. She is a media spokesperson and avid writer on climate change, inequality and justice.
Sebastián Benfeld, 19, from Chile. Sebastián attends Alta Monte School in Quilpué. He is a spokesperson for FridaysForFuture and an avid writer and promoter of democratic rights in Chile.
Kyara Cascante, 16, from Costa Rica. Kyara attends Liceo de Miramar High School and is a member of multiple student networks focused on environmental issues and political activism in Costa Rica.
Nafesha Richarsdon, 23, from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Nafesha is studying law and is the founder of SPARK SVG, a nonprofit youth organization that motivates, empowers and inspires young people to ignite positive change in their communities, with themes of planet, people, peace, prosperity and partnership.
Laura Serna, 23, from Colombia. Laura is an Afro-descendant studying human rights law, environmental law, peace and post-conflict areas. Laura is an active volunteer and has conducted pro bono environmental work at the Legal Clinic of Public Actions at the University of Rosario.