the third sector in the fight against environmental racism

Environmental racism refers to discrimination and social injustices resulting from environmental degradation, disproportionately affecting ethnic minority populations, highlighting inequalities in socio-environmental impacts. Meet third sector organizations committed to the cause

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The concept of Environmental Racism refers to the process of discrimination and social injustices faced by populations belonging to ethnic minorities due to environmental degradation and climate changes. This term highlights a violation of rights, showing that socio-environmental impacts do not affect all communities equally.

During the COP-28in 2023, the issue of environmental racism received international attention, given the occurrence of humanitarian and climate crises around the world. Government bodies in Brazil, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Environment and Racial Equality, have put the issue of environmental racism on the discussion table, seeking strategies and actions to mitigate the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable populations.

The topic was also covered in the program “Citizenship perspective” from the Third Sector Observatory, where reflections were raised on social and racial interactions in the context of environmental issues.

“3% of the inhabitants of Rondônia have piped water and sewage, (…) of the remaining 97%, the overwhelming majority live in septic tanks, throwing their waste into the river, contaminating the environment and potentially compromising the health of the community. The other part of the population is in closed condominiums that have a sewage treatment system, thus contributing to a quality of life above others”, explained sociologist and researcher Rafael de Andrade.

A study by Instituto Trata Brasil revealed that 46.3% of homes in Brazil face deprivations in basic sanitation. The research highlighted that this deprivation mainly affects young people under 20, as well as black, brown and indigenous people. The Northeast region was identified as the most impacted in all dimensions analyzed. Among the most alarming findings, it was found that 70.2% of households without access to the general water network were below the poverty line in 2022.

Third Sector in the fight against environmental racism

Combating environmental racism means combating inequalities and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. Discover 5 third sector organizations that work for the cause.

Habitat for Humanity Brazil

A Habitat for Humanity Brazil is a civil society organization that, for more than 30 years, has worked to combat inequalities and ensure that people in poverty have a decent place to live. Present in more than 70 countries, the organization promotes advocacy in public policies for the right to the city and solutions for access to housinghas water and sanitationin conjunction with different sectors and communities.

Trata Brasil Institute

O Instituto Trata Brasil, an OSCIP made up of companies committed to advancing basic sanitation and preserving water resources, has been dedicated since 2007 to combating environmental racism. Its objective is to inform and mobilize citizens to demand the universalization of the essential basic sanitation service in Brazil. Aware of persistent inequality, especially in poorer regions, the Institute carries out projects in vulnerable communities, where the lack of treated water and daily exposure to open sewage are realities. Its actions, covering the axes “Water and Citizenship for Life“, “Treats Brazil in the Community” e “Support for Rural Sanitation and in Isolated Areas“, seek to promote a fairer country, guaranteeing universal access to basic water infrastructure.


A UNCLE Brazil works to build a fair and poverty-free country. In association with the international organization TECHO, present in 18 countries in Latin America, it has been in Brazil since 2006, mobilizing volunteers to work side by side with residents in communities precarious from different States. Builds concrete and emergency solutions that provide improvements in housing and habitat conditions in these territories.

Rede Mondo

A Rede Mondo is an organization that works to strengthen people and drive the improvement of education in the Amazon region. Its aim is to promote a social, economic, environmental and cultural transformation of riverside communities in the Marajó Archipelago, in Pará. The project, designed in 2020 by the National Association of Private Universities (Associação Nacional das Universidades Particulares (National Association of Private Universities)ANUP), has already carried out more than 40 actions and indirectly impacted the lives of more than 60 thousand people.

Brazil Fund

O Brazil Fund for Human Rights is an independent foundation with the proposal to build sustainable mechanisms to raise resources for human rights defenders and which, throughout its 16 years of existence, has already donated R$50.2 million and supported more than 1,200 projects to defend human rights humans in different causes. By means of noticesfundraising, community support programs (Rio Doce Program), among others, the Fund guarantees an improvement in society’s quality of life.

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