There's an indigenous community in Ecuador that lives in a part of the Amazon where there are jaguars and more animal life than the whole of North America! It's an incredibly pristine, remote area and the whole ecosystem has been preserved. But the government is threatening to go in and look for oil.
A massive scandal in the global media challenging President Correa to act on his environmental principles could persuade him to pull back and stop the Amazon oil rush.
The government of Ecuador plans to auction off oil development rights within nearly ten million acres of primary forest and indigenous land that has been inhabited for centuries, including all of Sarayaku territory.
The powerful video message above accompanies the launch of a global petition driven byAmazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign in 2010. Additional information about Amazon Watch’s Clean Up Ecuador Campaign is available at: http://amazonwatch.org/
We received letter from the Avaaz community which we share here with you:
The local tribe is resisting, but usually oil companies go in, buy off the people and break up the community. The tribe is thrilled that people across the world might back them up and make such a stink that we could save their land. The president of Ecuador claims to stand for indigenous rights and the environment, but he's just quietly come up with a new plan to bring oil speculators in to look at 4 million hectares of jungle. If we can say 'wait a minute, you're supposed to be the green president who says no one can buy Ecuador', we could expose him for turning his back on his commitments just as he is fighting for re-election.
He does not want a PR nightmare right now. If we can help this one community defend their ancestral land and challenge the president to keep to his word, we could make him reconsider the whole plan. Sign the petition now and tell everyone -- let's help save this beautiful forest: http://www.avaaz.org/en/oil_in_the_amazon_8/?bBXBHab&v=21328
After Texaco and other oil companies polluted Ecuadorian waters and irreversibly devastated precious ecosystems, Correa led his country to be the world’s first nation to recognize the rights of “Mother Earth” in its constitution. He announced Ecuador was not for sale, and in Yasuni National Park promoted an innovative initiative where other governments pay Ecuador to keep oil in the ground to protect the rainforest rather than destroy it. But now he’s on the verge of selling out.
Shockingly, the Kichwa land is partly in Yasuni National Park. But even more shocking is Correa's bigger plan -- in days government officials begin a world tour to offer foreign investors the right to drill across 4 million hectares of forest (an area larger than the Netherlands!) Ecuador, as any country, may argue it has the right to profit from its natural resources, but the constitution itself says it must respect indigenous rights and its amazing forests, which bring millions in tourist dollars every year.
Right now, Correa is in a tough fight to be re-elected as president. It’s the perfect time to make him honour his environmental promises and make this green constitution come to life. Sign now to stand with the Kichwa people and save their forest: http://www.avaaz.org/en/oil_in_the_amazon_8/?bBXBHab&v=21328
Our community has fought year after year to protect the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia, and won many victories standing in solidarity with indigenous communities. Now it’s Ecuador’s turn -- let’s respond to this urgent call for action and save their forest.
With hope and determination,
Alex, Pedro, Alice, Laura, Marie, Ricken, Taylor, Morgan and all the Avaaz team
Ecuadorian tribe gets reprieve from oil intrusion (The Guardian)
How oil extraction impacts the rainforest (Amazon Watch)
Drilling for oil in Eden: initiative to save Amazon rainforest in Ecuador is uncertain (Scientific American)
Ecuador’s indigenous leaders oppose new oil exploration plans in Amazon region (Earth Island Journal)
Featured image: OneYearOneWorld.com
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