Waorani | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch


First-Ever Regional Court Case Involving Rights of Uncontacted Peoples Awaits Verdict

The Inter-American Court of Human rights is evaluating the first-ever case concerning the rights of Indigenous communities in voluntary isolation

Mongabay | In the case Tagaeri & Taromenane Indigenous people vs the Ecuadorian state, lawyers representing the communities in voluntary isolation say the Ecuadorian state has failed to protect these populations and propelled the extractive industry in the area, putting pressure on the rainforest and increasing conflict between local communities.

New Investigation Reveals California Fueling Amazon Rainforest Oil Drilling and Destruction

COSTCO, American Airlines, Amazon.com, FedEx, and other major corporations revealed in chain of custody research

“Oil extraction in our Ecuadorian Amazon has brought pollution, diseases, deforestation, destruction of our cultures, and the colonization of our territories. It is an existential threat to us, and it violates our fundamental rights as Indigenous peoples."

Crude Reality: One U.S. State Consumes Half the Oil from the Amazon Rainforest

As oil companies carve up more of the rainforest, a new study says no place in the world uses more oil from beneath the Amazon than California

NBC News | Waorani leader Nemo Guiquita has been fighting the expansion of oil drilling in her tribe’s ancestral homeland for years. She said her grandmother, Nayuma, was the first Waorani to make contact with the outside world 60 years ago. “The rainforest for us is home,” Guiquita said. “It’s our life, our pharmacy, our everything.”

Ecuador’s Consultation Process for Indigenous Lands Comes Under the Microscope

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has selected two legal cases, involving the Cofán and Waorani Indigenous peoples, as a basis to analyze the country’s process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)

Mongabay | Conflicts with mining companies have become even more serious, says Carlos Mazabanda, Ecuador field coordinator for Amazon Watch, as the state looks to expand its mining sector and relieve some of its dependence on oil. Many communities have been divided by mining companies, while conflicts in the southern province of Morona Santiago have resulted...

Isolated Indigenous Peoples Under Threat of Oil Expansion

New access road under construction intends to go deep into Yasuní National Park's "No Go" Zone

In late October, Ecuador’s right-wing president Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency, citing rising violent crime. But the surprise move also conveniently suspended civil liberties just as civil society was gearing up to protest his economic and policy proposals seeking to implement neoliberal reforms and a business-friendly environment...

Amazon Watch is building on more than 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin.


Our Voice Is Our Power

Indigenous women in the Amazon have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and today we are stepping up into new leadership roles, successfully forcing out extractive industries and companies from our sacred territories.

Amazonians Rising Up and Winning Against Oil!

"The government tried to sell our lands to the oil companies without our permission. Our rainforest is our life. We decide what happens in our lands. We will never sell our rainforest to the oil companies."

California Split Over Carbon Trading Plan for Tropical Forests

"TFS could allow oil refiners, which are purchasing oil from Ecuador to turn around and buy offset credits from the same regions in Ecuador that have been devastated by oil drilling," said Zoe Cina-Sklar of advocacy group Amazon Watch. Instead of carbon trading, California should curb Amazon crude imports and take immediate measures to wean itself...

Portraits: Women Defenders of the Amazon

For decades, oil companies have taken advantage of the resource-rich land of the western Amazon, violating the basic human rights of the indigenous people while simultaneously inflicting harm and destroying the beautiful rainforest. Indigenous communities have responded with powerful messages, defending their land at all costs. At the forefront of...

Award-Winning Film Yasuni Man Screened in LA with Special Guests

The event began with a "green carpet" welcoming, included a special performance by John Densmore of The Doors, and ended with an expert panel discussion

Yasuni Man is an award-winning documentary by filmmaker Ryan Killackey that tells the story of the Waorani people and their ancestral land, which, though one of the most biodiverse forest on earth, is threatened by extractive industries. Obviously, Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve is one of the worst places on the planet to drill for oil...

Defending Indigenous Lands, Territories, and Resources at the UN

More than 1,000 representatives of indigenous peoples traveled to New York in late April to participate in the 17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Amazon Watch supported and accompanied Amazonian leaders to call for respect and protection of their lives, cultures, and ancestral territories and an end to the harassment and...

Indigenous Amazonian Leaders at U.N. to Demand an End to Resource Extraction and Threats Against Rights Defenders

Women's delegation from the Ecuadorian Amazon will bring call for permanent protection of rainforest lands to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous representatives from several nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon will attend the17th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City from April 16 to 27.

A Village in Ecuador’s Amazon Fights for Life as Oil Wells Move In

Ecuador's Yasuní National Park is home to Indigenous people who live in near-total isolation from the rest of the world – and wish to remain that way

NRDC | To an outsider visiting the rainforest of Ecuador's Yasuní National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, it seems almost inconceivable that Baihua and his people have survived as hunter-gatherers there in the 21st century – and even harder to believe they'll be able to do so for much longer.

From Ecuador’s Amazon to President’s Palace, Indigenous Women Demand End to Drilling

"Oil has not brought development for the Waorani"

Thomson Reuters | "We will return to our communities and wait for a response from the government," said Zoila Castillo, vice-president of the parliament of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon. "If we do not receive a response in two weeks, we will be back."

Keep Off Our Land, Indigenous Women Tell Ecuador’s President

Women's movement demands an end to unrestricted oil drilling and mining on Indigenous lands and action on violence against land defenders in first meeting with President Lenin Moreno

The Guardian | "Your government cannot permit that our rights continue to be violated," Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous Kichwa from Sarayaku, told the president during the meeting. "Ecuador has to change its energy policy. It could be an example for the world," she said. Gualinga, who received death threats in January, said environmental defenders, particularly...

Amazonian Indigenous Women Take Demands for End to Oil and Mining Directly to Ecuador’s President

In a Meeting with President Moreno, the Women Called for an Amazon Free of Natural Resource Extraction and an End to Threats Against Them and Other Earth Defenders

Quito, Ecuador – After presenting to Ecuador's President Moreno their demands to end natural resource extraction in their Amazon rainforest territories in a meeting in the presidential palace late Thursday, a delegation of Amazonian indigenous women announced they will give him fifteen days to provide concrete responses. The women also...

Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder with Indigenous Women at Risk in Ecuador

A call for international solidarity to protect the rights and lives of Earth Defenders

"We are marching for our lives! Our sisters are being threatened, our rights are being trampled, and our territories are being destroyed. We are here as women to defend the Amazon against extraction. Enough is Enough!"

Indigenous Women March in Ecuador, Vow to “Defend Our Territory”

Women from different regions of the Ecuadorian Amazon gathered in the city of Puyo, Ecuador to mark International Women's Day

Mongabay | About 350 Indigenous women from across the Ecuadorian Amazon gathered here yesterday to celebrate International Women's Day, and, they say, to fight back against a system that violates their rights. Many women spoke out specifically against the extractive industries operating in their territories.

Indigenous Amazonian Women: Defending Mother Earth

Cultural Survival | On March 21st, 2016, International Women's Day, an Amazonian women's alliance was born when indigenous women from seven nationalities – Kichwa, Sápara, Shiwiar, Shuar, Achuar, Andoa, and Waorani – joined forces for the first time, marching together in defense of their rights, rainforests, and future generations.

Indigenous Women Unite to Defend the Amazon, Mother Earth and Climate Justice

I am filled with hope by the alliance of indigenous Amazonian women who came together in a historic march in defense of the Amazon, Mother Earth and Climate Justice on International Women's Day. It was the first time ever that indigenous Amazonian women from seven nationalities joined forces and marched together in defense of their rights...

Over Five Hundred Indigenous Women of the Amazon and Allies March for Climate Justice, Indigenous Rights on International Women’s Day

Puyo, Ecuador – In recognition of International Women's Day, Indigenous Amazonian women leaders of seven nationalities including: Andoa, Achuar, Kichwa, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani nationalities and their international allies took action in Puyo, Ecuador, in a forum and march in defense of the Amazon, Mother Earth and for climate justice...

Meet the Amazon Tribespeople Who Beat Chevron in Court – But Are Still Fighting for Clean Water

With the judgment in their favor tied up in a New York courtroom, indigenous residents of Ecuador's oil-polluted rainforest are going back to basics

TakePart | "It fills me with rage to see what the oil companies have done to my people," says ClearWater coordinator Nemonte Nenquimo. "We are not supposed to be controlled by an oil company. Waorani are meant to lively freely."

Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change

"When women decide to do something, when we are firm and radical, we will be successful and make it happen!" Patricia Gualinga addressed a packed crowd in the very spirit of her words, moving the entire room to a standing ovation. "Everywhere on the planet, we have such a powerful impact."

Major Victory in Effort to Limit Oil Drilling in Ecuadorian Amazon

Supporters gather 750,000+ signatures to qualify for referendum to defend Yasuní National Park

Quito, Ecuador – Despite tremendous odds, supporters of a pioneering effort to keep Ecuador's largest oil reserve permanently in the ground have gathered more than enough signatures to qualify for a national vote on the issue in a special election.

Amazonas: Guardians of Life

"We are struggling for Yasuni because it is our home. Correa wouldn't like it if oil companies went to his home and tore it down like they come and cut trees and build roads in our rainforest homes," said Alicia Cahuilla, a courageous Waorani warrior from the Ecuadorian Amazon.

In Ecuador, Oil Boom Creates Tension

The Washington Post | An unprecedented drilling push by Ecuador's government has brought new tensions to Yawepare and the country's Amazon lowlands. As the chain saws and bulldozers cut deeper into the forest, critics say the government is triggering brutal warfare between the Waorani and a smaller, breakaway tribe living in "voluntary isolation" beyond the oil...