The Ecuadorian government has just signed a contract with Chinese corporation Andes Petroleum, handing over rights for oil exploration and extraction in two controversial Amazonian blocks which overlap the traditional territory of the Sápara and Kichwa peoples.
Concession plans open up almost a million acres in the center of Ecuador’s roadless southeastern Amazon, where indigenous communities have successfully prevented extraction for over two decades. The concession means large swaths of deforestation and irreversible devastation of the forest’s magnificent social and cultural diversity. In light of the fact that global rainforests, of which the Amazon is the largest, absorb upwards of 20% of fossil fuel emission – the implications of this contract for global climate disruption cannot be overstated.
The Sápara and the Kichwa of Sarayaku have denounced the new contract as a violation of their fundamental rights, and have made clear their intentions to keep resisting extraction and protecting the Living Forest.
WECAN reaffirms our unyielding commitment of support and collaboration with the Sápara and Kichwa peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon. In particular, we stand with and wish to draw attention to the stories, struggles and solutions of the Sápara and Kichwa women, who continue to put their bodies on the line to defend the rights of their communities and the health and wellbeing of the planet for generations to come.
We are here in solidarity and in defense of the forests, peoples and lifeways that have lived in harmony with the Amazon for millennia. We demand that this latest oil concession be revoked, and that the Ecuadorian government heed the calls of the Sápara and Kichwa people to move immediately towards an end to extraction in the Amazon.
Click here to sign an urgent statement to Minister Poveda, hosted on the webpage of our partners at Amazon Watch.