Respecting Indigenous Rights & Nature

3 Million hectares of pristine Amazon rainforest to be auctioned off by Ecuador to Chinese energy companies. Last October, we shared the above video from Amazon Watch, which works with indigenous Amazon communities in efforts to protect their rights and territories from extractive companies. This time Ecuador is set to auction off millions of hectares that possess a wealth of biodiversity, affecting seven indigenous groups – that have not consented to the oil projects – as well as the stability of the Amazon, which is vital to global climate balance.

The Cofán, whom we work with, and neighboring communities won a $19 billion lawsuit last year against Chevron for the many violations and contamination left by Texaco since the 1970’s, before it merged with Chevron. Chevron continues to do all that it can to avoid paying the $19 billion, claiming that they are not responsible for the damages. It is a tragedy that after what these Ecuadorian Amazon communities have experienced through corporate irresponsibility and lack of corporate accountability, the Ecuadorian government is planning to sell off a large part of the Amazon to Chinese petrochemical companies.

We demand that public and private oil companies across the world not participate in the bidding process that systematically violates the rights of seven indigenous nationalities by imposing oil projects in their ancestral territories,” a group of Ecuadorean organised indigenous associations wrote in an open letter last autumn. Source: The Guardian.

Indigenous nations struggle to protect their traditional way of life and the territories they have inhabited for centuries from extractive multinational industries. They do not leave their lands to disrupt others, they live in harmony with nature. Our insatiable need for energy to power or lives drives corporations to tap into fragile areas that are vital to humanity. We, as users of these resources, have the responsibility to stop dangerous projects from destroying nature and people’s lives. Let’s raise our voices in support of the rights of indigenous people and nature. Urge President Correa of Ecuador to stop this devastating auction at

From October 2012 post:

We need to join together to protect nature and cultures in the line of fire.”

In July of this year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) voted in favor of the Kichwa of Sarayaku that ended a decade-long legal battle after a foreign oil company was allowed to encroach on their traditional lands in the early 2000s without consultation. Today, the Kichwa of Sarayaku and other indigenous communities continue to struggle, as “the government of Ecuador plans to auction off oil development rights within nearly ten million acres of primary forest and indigenous land that has been inhabited for centuries, including all of Sarayaku territory.” Join Amazon Watch, Pachamama Alliance and Amazon communities, in urging President Correa to respect indigenous rights and nature by signing this letter.