Target: Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador
Goal: Protect and preserve indigenous people, species and ecosystems in Ecuador’s rainforest
In November 2012, Ecuador announced it was selling exploration rights to 8 million acres of rainforest to the highest bidder in a large oil auction. The enormous biodiversity of Ecuador’s forests, as well as the indigenous people living and depending on the land is under constant threat from the oil industry. Please sign this petition and demand that Ecuador protect its rainforests and the life forms that have developed and depend on traditional life in the Amazon.
With 13 blocks, or 8 million acres, of Ecuador’s rainforest already up for auction, the government is considering adding another 5 million acres to sweeten the deal for investors. Oil companies are bidding for rich oil resources and Ecuador wants revenue and investments, but did anyone consider the indigenous nationalities living on the land?
According to the Confederation of Amazonian Indigenous Nationalities (CONFENIAE) the answer is no. Indigenous representatives have criticized the government’s lack of consultation process, a right guaranteed by the Ecuadorian Constitution, international treaties and rulings by international courts. The Ecuadorian government did not include indigenous participation and was not in accordance with traditional decision-making practices, nor carried out in native languages.
Indigenous people are protesting the auction and impending oil production responsible for deforestation, degradation and environmental devastation. Accessing the remote oil and gas deposits mandate that roads be created by plowing down life sustaining trees. Oil extraction results in the release of toxic drilling byproducts polluting local rivers that are vital to the survival of indigenous peoples.
Predictable broken pipelines and persistent oil spillage will maintain the destruction of the land and its once vital resources. In short, the Ecuadorian government is allowing and encouraging its greatest resource to be raped for short-sighted revenue.
Please sign this petition and join the indigenous nationals in their protest to protect their land, maintain their traditional way of life and demand that the Ecuadorian government stop selling vital rainforest resources.
Dear President Correa,
Your recent decision to auction millions of acres of the rainforest for oil extraction will have a damaging affect not only on the country’s environment and indigenous people, but also the investment itself. The indigenous nations of Ecuador’s rainforest are powerful in their protest and will continue their fight in the face of oil rigs.
Indigenous resistance has cost Ecuador in the past and will again if you do not stop selling indigenous land. Please stop the current auction and any future auctions in order to preserve the rainforest and the people who depend on it.
When two blocks of rainforest were previously held by major oil investors’, indigenous people came together in protest of the development and managed to keep the companies out of their homes. The Ecuadorian government had to declare force majeure and the projects were halted for nearly a decade. Ultimately, it was Ecuador that lost out; having to compensate the companies for lost revenue and damage to their brands.
Your decision to sell the rainforest for oil money without considering the indigenous people who are most invested in the land will have damaging results. Had government officials aptly considered the opinions of indigenous nations, perhaps an agreement could have been reached. Unfortunately, the government did not consider stakeholders and did not uphold the Ecuadorian Constitution that mandates indigenous consultation.
I urge you to re-think the long-term repercussions of auctioning the Amazon on not only the environment and indigenous nationalities, but also on the investment you expect to increase revenue. If you do not learn from history, it is bound to repeat itself.
[Your Name Here]
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