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Growing the global movement for grassroots land and environmental justice

What we’re fighting for

We are grassroots justice advocates who are fighting for communities, especially those who have been systemically harmed or marginalized, to have the power to govern their lands and neighborhoods, and the power to lead the transition to a sustainable economy. 

We are walking with communities directly impacted by environmental and climate injustice to know, use, and shape the law, to address the harms they are experiencing and to build a better future. Through the Grassroots Justice Network, we are combining our efforts to create change together that we can’t accomplish alone.

By learning from each other, grassroots environmental justice groups can become more rigorous and effective. By coming together across our specific contexts and working as a united movement, we can change the systems that make environmental injustices persist.

Click here to see the movement vision (available in Español and English) put together by those leading the coordination of the network’s work on Land and Environmental Justice.

What this work looks like

Communities from Mexico to Thailand are coming together to share their experience responding to corporate injustice. Building on their own efforts to hold corporations accountable, they are mentoring each other and formally submitting recommendations to oversight actors like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Read joint letter here.

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In Sierra Leone, paralegals and communities working with Namati have taken on over 500 instances of land or environmental injustice in the last decade - land grabs, unlawful pollution, heedless destruction. Connecting across those specific struggles, paralegals and communities fought for, and won, two of the most progressive laws on land, climate, and environmental justice in the world. To learn more about this victory, watch this video.

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Network members have come together to create an eight month virtual and in-person opportunity to share learning with each other about how communities can respond to carbon markets. This program is designed by and led by Grassroots Justice Network members and applications are open thru June 19. Application forms are available in French, Spanish and English.

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Our Corporate Accountability subgroup is calling for community-centered processes and designs in the context of a Just Transition. Read the Network's submission to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, where we highlight access to justice and the incorporation of legal empowerment approaches for impacted communities caught in the middle of the mining of transition minerals.

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Each one wants to save their own patch of the earth. We’ve been trying our best and it’s not working, so now we’re bringing our voices collectively, because in our own different countries people are destroying the world. We’re coming together to say: ‘This has to stop.’


Sonkita Conteh

Director Namati Sierra Leone

On a personal level, being part of the LEJ movement reenergizes you, brings you to the same space with others fighting land and environmental injustice, and gives you more ideas and gives you an opportunity to step back and reflect on your work, and see if there are other ways you can make an impact for people’s land and environmental rights.

Nyaradzo Mutonhori

Program Manager, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

The fight we are fighting is not just about us, it’s about Mother Earth. So we need to mobilize all our communities…and we fight on the ground and we fight in the courts.

Nonhle Mbuthuma

Paralegal, Natural Justice

Communities know their territories better than anyone. They have ancestral ties. They know how the systems where they live work. So if we really need new solutions and new approaches to this complex problem…[of the] climate crisis, the communities need to be a relevant and protagonist part of these new decisions.

Felipe Pino

Coordinador de Proyectos - ONG FIMA

If our farmers don’t have land, or the lands are grabbed by companies or by the government, they will not have something to live for. I have been involved for quite a long time in this work, and I can see the difference in how the system and policies change through legal empowerment and action research.

Rahkma Mary

Senior Researcher and Knowledge Management Expert, YLBHI

How you can be involved

Shared learning.

Our network members have seen big gains in their work through peer learning about how to build power within their communities to support land and environmental justice. If you are pursuing grassroots environmental justice, we would be honored to have you join us. Sign up to receive our newsletter to hear about upcoming virtual and in person learning exchanges and make sure you are up to date in the Environmental Justice category in our Community Forum.

Collective action.

We see common patterns of exploitation—and opportunity—across rich countries and poor, urban places and rural ones. We are coming together across our borders to fight for new, better norms of governance that can accelerate a just transition to a sustainable way of life. In particular, we have subgroups for corporate accountability, climate finance, and community engagement. You can sign up to become a member (forms available in Spanish, French, and English).


We gain strength and energy by hearing stories of success and challenges from other network members. We also support one another when one of our network members is under threat. Follow us to hear network member stories and know how your support can help keep each other safer, or join our movement-wide calls happening every quarter.