Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy – WildEarth Guardians’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
WildEarth Guardians recognizes that numerous communities continue to be underrepresented in the environmental movement. Lack of access, lack of opportunity, and disparity of power in decisions affecting our shared planet is an injustice. This document represents our commitment to change that state of affairs by changing the culture of our own organization.
As advocates for the health of the natural world, WildEarth Guardians affirms biodiversity, ecological unity, and the interdependence of all life. We believe that diversity, whether of ecosystems, cultures, or peoples, is a strength. We affirm the right to a clean, safe, and healthy environment. We affirm the right to live free from the threat of ecosystem collapse. We recognize this right is not equally realized among all.
We work to ensure that the American West’s landscapes, wildlife, rivers, and climate will be protected so that future generations of people, plants, and animals can thrive in and be nourished by the natural world. We work to ensure that ecosystems will be respected and managed responsibly and sustainably; that the natural and human environment is restored to the benefit of all people and living things; and that no community should bear disproportionate risks of environmental harm due to demographic characteristics or economic conditions.
Power to manage lands and waters is being seized and consolidated by special interests. We must reverse this trend that threatens lands, waters, and Western communities.
WildEarth Guardians commits to becoming a more equitable, just, and inclusive organization. As we engage in this ongoing process, we commit to celebrating diversity, buoying inclusivity, and striving towards equity. We commit to integrity and accountability by continuing to seek out new training opportunities and in nurturing equity and inclusion throughout our organizational practices. We adopt Environmental Justice principles to guide our advocacy and outreach. We strive to confront injustice by welcoming a wide variety of voices as we defend the vulnerable from the powerful. We embrace opportunities to bring together as many people as we can to create a more just, beautiful, and equitable world. We are learning how to better bolster issues of equity while confronting environmental injustice, and we make this solemn promise that our actions will become consistent with our words.
Environmental Justice Principles that Guide Our Work
- The Right to Democracy – We support government by the people. Corporate influence over government must be constrained to stop the erosion of people’s right to govern themselves. This way, government will have the ability to establish justice and to promote the general welfare of both the people and the planet.
- The Right to Participate – People have the right to participate in the development of rules, regulations, plans, and evaluation criteria at every level of decision-making. Barriers to participation for impacted communities (cultural, linguistic, geographic, economic, other) must be overcome.
- The Right to Know – People have a right to know the information necessary to protect the air, water, landscapes, and communities they cherish. They have a right to be informed about the impact of environmental decision-making. We work to increase transparency of government forum, actions, and decision-making.
- The Right to Sustainable Environmental Benefits – People are entitled to enjoy the sustainable, aesthetic, recreational, cultural, historical, scientific, educational, religious, sacred, sustenance, subsistence, and other environmental benefits of the natural world. Actions that undermine the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community are unethical.
- The Right to Equity – Environmentally degrading uses of air, land, and water should be avoided, but when such uses occur, they should be equitably sited taking into account all environmental and community impacts, including the cumulative and synergistic ecological and health effects of multiple facilities. All people have the right to a safe and healthful work and home environment.
- The Right to Generational Equity – Future generations have a fundamental right to enjoy the benefits of clean air, clean water, and a healthy ecosystem. They have the right to an uncontaminated food chain, and to receive a heritage of a wilderness that is vibrant, with all species that are currently present.
- The Rights of Native People – We oppose efforts to dispossess indigenous peoples of their lands, their cultures, and their right to self-determination. We support Native Peoples’ sovereign power to protect the environment, to establish environmental justice, and to preserve their unique cultural heritage. We recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples as affirmed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.