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Environmental journalism is under attack

A person stands in a small boat on parched, cracked ground.
Rufino Choque, from the Urus Indigenous community, stands over a boat in the middle of the extinct Poopó Lake, which disappeared in 2015. | Photo by Manuel Seoane

Attacks against environmental journalists have risen dramatically across the world, according to a report released by UNESCO to commemorate World Press Freedom Day.

UNESCO and the International Federation of Journalists surveyed 905 journalists across 129 countries. Between 2009 and last year, more than 70 percent of reporters experienced attacks while working on environmental stories ranging from mining and deforestation to protests and land grabs.

There were more than 300 attacks reported over the past five years alone, a 42 percent jump from the previous five-year period. The attacks come in many forms, from legal threats and online harassment to physical violence and death threats — although physical attacks were most common. They…

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