COP25: Amazonian Indigenous Leaders Respond to the Governments of Ecuador and Peru and Share Conclusions on the Summit

Hearing a contradiction between what is being said and what is being done, Indigenous leaders call for global support to stop new oil drilling, mining exploration, and deforestation in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters

Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org


Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative partner organizations

Read the full report here.

Madrid, Spain – Indigenous leaders representing twenty nationalities from Ecuador and Peru called for global support to stop oil drilling and mining in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region – the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. A new report released today entitled The Amazon Sacred Headwaters: Indigenous Rainforest “Territories for Life” Under Threat demonstrates that more than a regional issue, this is a global crisis that endangers the world's 1.5° C goal.

"We are outraged that President Moreno would claim expanding oil drilling in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters is consistent with the Paris Accord and will not impact indignous rights. He claimed further drilling will not harm the "weakest"? Further oil drilling is incompatible with fighting climate change." said Sandra Tukup, director of territories for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon CONFENIAE

Lizardo Cauper, president of the Amazonian Inter-Ethnic Development Association Peruana, AIDESEP commented, "The government of Peru claims it is building a cleaner future while in reality it is continuing to promote the expansion of oil drilling. There is a lack of coherence in their response here in Madrid. You can't build a clean and just future while expanding oil drilling that threatens the climate and our rights."

The Sacred Headwaters region, which encompasses the watersheds and forests at the source of the Amazon river is considered globally significant due to its biological and cultural diversity.

The region spans 30 million hectares in Ecuador and Peru – an area the size of Italy – and is home to over 20 Indigenous nationalities, some of them uncontacted. Leaving the region's estimated 5 billion barrels of unexplored oil reserves in the ground is equivalent to avoiding over 2 billion metric tons of C02. Deforestation promoted by the advance of industrial development could lead to the additional emission of 4 billion tons of carbon.

"It is absurd that all these countries come to talk about stopping climate change while at the same time forcing new oil drilling in our territories, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest," said Wrays Perez, President of the Wampis Nation of Peru.

A new research report released today shows that there are 27 oil blocks that threaten this region and that, companies from Chile, the original host of COP25 and China, the host of next year's Conference on Biodiversity, threaten the future of the Amazon.

"Our investigation shows that a massive portion of the existing and expanded crude oil production is being used to pay off billions in loans to China – a country with a stated ambition to advance an ecological civilization, and that over 50% of the crude oil from the Western Amazon goes to California's refineries, a state that prides itself as a climate leader," said Kevin Koenig, Climate and Energy Director from Amazon Watch

Moved by the threat posed by proposed oil drilling and mining to their lands, the regional Amazonian Indigenous confederations of Ecuador (CONFENIAE) and Peru (AIDESEP) have joined together in an initiative to permanently protect their lands and the invaluable ecological functions they provide to the world.

"We have been protecting our forests. We have kept many oil companies away. We are asking for a model of development aligned with climate science that respects our rights and allows our forests to continue to flourish" said Sandra Tukup, director of territories leader for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE).

Later, Atossa Soltani, Director of Gloabl Strategy, Sacred Headwaters Initiative, explained, "under the direction of Indigenous leaders we have created an International Commission of experts to support the development of a Green New Deal for the Amazon of Ecuador and Peru locally".

"The world needs to understand that the Amazon goes beyond Brazil, and that us -Indigenous from Peru and Ecuador- can work hand in hand with governments and philanthropists in the creation of a new economic model for the Amazon Forest." Lizardo Cauper President of the Inter- ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Forests (AIDESEP)

Background

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative is led by Amazonian Indigenous federations CONFENIAE (Ecuador) and AIDESEP (Peru) in partnership with Pachamama Alliance, Amazon Watch, Fundación Pachamama, and Stand.earth. Indigenous Leaders from above and Others Available for Interview (with translation provided).

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative is led by Amazonian Indigenous federations CONFENIAE (Ecuador) and AIDESEP (Peru) in partnership with Pachamama Alliance, Amazon Watch, Fundación Pachamama, and Stand.earth.

Indigenous leaders from above and others available for interview (with translation provided).
www.sacredheadwaters.org | www.cuencasagradas.org

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