More About Yasuní
Covering nearly 2.5 million acres of primary tropical rainforest at the intersection of the Andes and the Amazon, Yasuní is the ancestral territory of the Huaorani people, as well as two other indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane. However, underneath the park lies some 900 million barrels of heavy crude – Ecuador's largest reserve. More
Nahko has long been connecting his own indigenous roots – he is of Apache descent, as well Puerto Rican, and Filipino and Guam heritage – with indigenous peoples and social movements across North America and beyond wherever the band tours, linking struggles to defend the sacred, protect water, and life.
Nahko visits Ecuador's remote Amazon rainforest to use music and cultural exchange to connect indigenous resistance movements from Mount Shasta to Standing Rock to the AmazonMarch 23, 2017
Nahko, the musician and frontman of Medicine for the People, and his bandmate Patricio Zuñiga Labarca have just returned to the U.S. after a week in Ecuador, where they visited the pristine rainforests of the Ecuadorian Amazon and met with indigenous leaders and communities to hear first hand about local efforts to protect their rights, forests, and cultures, and shared stories and empowerment through music.
Last week thousands of indigenous activists and allies traveled to Washington, DC for the Native Nations Rise march, convened by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and grassroots indigenous leaders. It was an important moment to bring the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline to the doorstep of the White House, stating unequivocally that far from being over, the North America-wide struggle for indigenous self-determination is kicking into an even higher gear.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in deep in the Amazon visiting our indigenous partners the Sápara and the Kichwa of Sarayaku with a small group of Amazon Watch supporters. I am so grateful for this opportunity and want to share some of my reflections with you on why we rise and resist for the Amazon.
The impacts of new drilling in the Amazon rainforest have been dire both for its world-renowned biodiversity and its indigenous peoples, many of whom have long rejected controversial drilling plans on their lands.
From attempts to close Ecuador's leading environmental rights NGO to megaprojects on indigenous lands, Rafael Correa's government continues to criminalize and threaten environmental activists and indigenous peopleJanuary 26, 2017NACLA
Despite its professed commitment to protection of Mother Earth and to placing sustainable living over profits, Ecuador under Correa has pursued a resource extraction strategy that prioritizes short-term revenue generation over environmental protection and indigenous territorial rights.
Ecuador's Yasuní National Park may be the world's richest rainforest. What will become of it now that oil extraction has begun?January 10, 2017bioGraphic
Just this past spring, in a move that shocked the international conservation community, Ecuador began trucking the first barrels of crude out of Yasuní. Is this the beginning of the end for one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems?
The United Nations criticized the government of Ecuador on Friday for ordering the closure of a land rights advocacy group that supports an indigenous community protesting mining plans in land they claim as their ancestral home.
Ecuador became an even more difficult place to be a defender of indigenous rights and the environment in recent days. You would think a country with constitutionally-enshrined protections for Mother Nature would support and encourage indigenous and environmental rights defenders, but sadly that is not the case, and it has implications for the global climate change movement.
Considered the most biodiverse place in the world, the Yasuní is in danger of being ruined through the exploitation of its natural resources. And time is running out to save it.Winter 2016Audubon
"If we can't manage to protect places that are this important,"" says Kevin Koenig, Ecuador program director for Amazon Watch, "then it seems unlikely that we'll be able to protect the rest of the planet. Depending on what happens here, we could be at the beginning of what could turn out to be a very tragic story."