Oil showdown in the Amazon
Alex Wilks -Avaaz
In the heart of Ecuador, a mega oil company is trying to turn the most pristine rainforest into an oil field. The Kichwa tribe are bravely resisting, but they have just asked for our help to save their home.
The community has signed a pledge never to sell out their land, where jaguars roam and a single hectare has more diverse animal life than all of North America! But Ecuador’s government is trying to buy them off so they agree to exploitation. The community says President Correa prides himself on respecting the environment and indigenous peoples. He is fighting to win an election right now. If we can kick up a global stink and make their struggle an election issue, we could get him to leave them alone.
So far the community has courageously stood up to bribery and intimidation, but now they are appealing for our help to make this an international story and force Correa to pull back. Sign this petition now and share it widely -- if 1 million people sign, we’ll take international journalists into the area and build a massive wave of media pressure:
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 has shown environmental leadership at several UN conferences and in Yasuni National Park he has promoted an innovative initiative where Ecuador is paid by other governments to keep oil in the ground and protect the rainforest rather than destroy it.
Shockingly, the Kichwa land now under threat is partly in the Yasuni National Park -- drilling it for oil would be totally counter to that initiative. And it would open the flood gates for the Ecuadorian Amazon, where the government is now opening bids for companies to exploit a further four million hectares. 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 brings millions in tourist dollars every year.
Right now Correa is in a tough fight to win a second term as president. It’s the perfect time to make him honor his environmental promises and make this green constitution come to life. Sign now to stand with the Kichwa people and save their forest:
Our community has fought year after year to protect the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia, and won many victories through raising our voices and standing in solidarity with the indigenous communities on the frontline of preserving our precious heritage. 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)
Ecuador Adopts Rights of Nature in Constitution (Rights of Nature)
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)