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The Ecuadorian government has signed two contracts with the China-based Andes Petroleum consortium, to work on the oil blocks known as 79 and 83; blocks that overlap with the territory of the Sápara indigenous peopleFebruary 3, 2016Mongabay
Indigenous leaders from across Ecuador have been coming together in recent years, as oil exploration has ramped up in the Amazon region where many of them live. Last week, they united once again to oppose yet another oil deal that, they say, threatens the existence of the ancestral communities living in the province of Pastaza, located in the easternmost Amazon region of Ecuador, about 300 kilometers southeast of Quito.
Statement of Amazonian Indigenous Women in Defense of Life, Territory, and "Good Living" (Buen Vivir)February 2, 2016
We, Amazonian indigenous women, representatives of the Sapara and Shiwiar Nationalities, the Kichwa Kawsak Sacha and Sarayaku Peoples, and the communities of the Bobonaza Basin, want to express our deep concern with the contract of exploitation and exploration signed by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons with the company Andes Petroleum for Blocks 79 and 83 that directly affect the Sapara, Kichwa, Shiwiar, and Sarayaku territories.
“We don’t want oil drilling in our lands,” said Manari Ushigua, one of the most well-known leaders of Ecuador’s tiny Zapara tribe. “Our culture is at risk of disappearing; so is our language and our way of relating to the rainforest.”
They tried talks. They tried letters. They tried protests. But nothing could stop the deal. Ecuador's government sold oil exploration rights in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest to a consortium of Chinese state-owned oil companies this week, despite dogged resistance from indigenous groups in the South American country who fear they could lose everything.
Indigenous Peoples Reject Oil Plans, Vow to Resist ProjectJanuary 20, 2016
Quito, Ecuador – The Ecuadorian government has announced imminent plans to sign contracts for two controversial Amazonian oil blocks which are facing adamant opposition from local indigenous people residing within the roughly half-a-million acre concessions and beyond.
A wave of sadness has surged forth from the Amazon rainforest, washing over many who have supported indigenous rights in Peru. Yesterday we learned that the long-time Achuar leader Jiyukam Lucas Irar Miik had drown in the Pastaza River, as he returned to his home community of Puerto Rubina. As reported by his son, his boat hit a log and capsized as it traveled up-river deep in the night. Lucas was last seen sleeping on the journey.
The Amazon rainforest can seem unimaginably vast. Similarly, the fight to defend it from the onslaught of industrial-scale threats like oil drilling, logging, and huge dams can appear overwhelming. But across the region, local indigenous peoples and our work to support them is making the difference and protecting the lands they have known for centuries. In 2015, these five snapshots of success gave us hope that the Amazon has a chance to avoid ecosystem collapse, but only if we support its indigenous guardians.
As I reflect on our recent work at COP21 in Paris on the Winter Solstice, I am very proud of what we achieved and filled with great hope for our work ahead. The Amazon Watch team did an incredible job of accompanying and supporting a twelve-person delegation of indigenous leaders, women and youth from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon and two Munduruku leaders from the Tapajós River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon to ensure the voices, concerns and solutions from indigenous peoples from the Amazon were heard by global leaders and media, and they were!
Munduruku leaders bring their movement to Paris climate summitDecember 14, 2015
At the closure of this year's critical COP21 summit in Paris, the most inspirational stories do not stem from official negotiations. They emanate from the heroic efforts of global indigenous movements, bringing a message of resilience and defiance from the front lines of climate change.
Among the cases heard by this tribunal, several dealt with oil exploitation in Ecuador – a country that, ironically, was the first to include the rights of nature into its 2008 constitution. One of these cases focused on Yasuní National Park.December 10, 2015Mongabay
Last weekend, while the official COP21 negotiations were going on north of Paris at a site called Le Bourget, leaders of indigenous nations in North and South America were in Paris calling for justice for what they say are ongoing violations of the rights of the earth itself.