No oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest!

The Indians in Ecuador want to protect their rainforest
69,752 supporters

End of campaign: May 20, 2014

“We do not want oil drilling on our land. We intend to protect the last remaining rainforests for the benefit of Ecuador and the world as a whole.” With this appeal, seven indigenous nations are calling for worldwide support against the government’s plans to open the Amazon region to oil drilling. Please support the petition.

Call to action

To: President of Ecuador, Mr. Rafael Correa

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Read letter

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.

Please sign our petition against oil drilling in the rainforest:

Back­ground Letter

To: President of Ecuador, Mr. Rafael Correa

Dear Mr. Rafael Correa,

We are observing your government’s plans to award the oil industry 21 new concessions in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest with great consternation.

The decision pertains to an area of 3 million hectares mostly covered by tropical rainforest, including many intact primary forest areas. The affected rainforests boast the world’s greatest diversity of animal and plant species, as studies have shown (see Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008767).

The planned oil concessions also violate the territories of seven indigenous peoples: the Achuar, Andoas, Kichwa, Shiwiar, Shuar, Waorani and Zápara. An overwhelming majority of the people oppose drilling on their land, which threatens their homes and livelihoods.

We therefore call on the government to:

1. Cancel all plans to expand oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest and on the territories of indigenous peoples.
2. Respect the decision of the indigenous nations to reject oil drilling, and honor their rights (see also the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights re. Sarayacu in June 2012).
3. Refrain from manipulating public opinion with misleading advertising campaigns (i.e. “oil gives the Amazon life” or “oil now means life”). Stop feigning the consent of the indigenous nations with allegedly positive surveys (consulta previa) and disrupting the unity and social peace of the native peoples.
4. Instead, protect and preserve the rainforests and support the indigenous peoples in their development in harmony with nature – as enshrined in the Ecuadorian Constitution drawn up by your government.

Sincerely,