On the 28th of November, Ecuador will begin awarding 21 concessions to the oil industry on land belonging to indigenous peoples – a total of three million hectares. According to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s plans, Petroamazonas will be the first oil company to commence drilling in the pristine tropical rainforest.
Yet studies have shown that more plant and animal species inhabit that particular forest than any other place on earth. Oil production in the South American country has already led to vast tracts of forest being cleared and the pollution of the land, to the detriment of the people living there.
Seven indigenous tribes – the rightful owners of the land with officially recognized titles – call the rainforest home and depend on it for their livelihoods. The government and oil companies are using misleading advertising campaigns, deceitful tricks and corrupt practices in an effort to break the resistance of the 80,000 forest dwellers.
China has granted Ecuador generous loans in return for half of the oil produced, and a Chinese delegation has openly threatened the Achuar tribe. “We will get in either way. If you do not consent, then the Ecuadorian military will help us”, the Chinese warned the president of the Achuar nation, Jaime Vargas.
By doing so, the Ecuadorian government is violating the country’s constitution and international treaties. In June, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the state had violated the fundamental rights of the indigenous peoples by awarding oil concessions on their land.
Start of campaign: Nov 17, 2012
Dear friends of the rainforests,
seven indigenous tribes in the Amazon region are currently endangered by the Ecuadorian government’s plans to sell off their ancestral land to oil companies. This would lead to the destruction and exploitation of three million hectares of rainforest and tribal lands.
The indigenous peoples are resisting the government’s plans by denying the oil industry access to their lands and protesting President Rafael Correa’s attempts to violate their rights and disrupt their unity.
Please sign our petition to the Ecuadorian government. The first oil exploration permits are due to be awarded on the 28th of November.
Thanks for being involved,
Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.)