A historical victory was achieved by an Amazon tribe in a huge lawsuit against Big Oil. It means those vast acres of precious rainforests have been saved.
The Waorani people of Pastaza have successfully prevented The Ecuadorian government’s aims of drilling for oil across seven million acres of south-central Amazon.
The Waorani people have also managed to obstruct the planned auctioning of 16 oil blocks of more than seven million acres of rainforest.
Mitch Anderson, Executive Director of Amazon Frontlines, stated:
This is a major precedent for indigenous rights across the Amazon. Today, the court has recognized a pattern of deceit, bad-faith and manipulative tactics in the Ecuadorian Government’s attempt to earmark the Waorani people’s lands for oil extraction.
This is a huge step forward in the battle to ensure indigenous people’s rights over their lands are respected. Guaranteeing indigenous peoples’ rights to decide over their future and to say ‘No’ to destructive extractive projects is key to protecting the Amazon rainforest and halting climate change.
his ruling, decided by the three-judge panel of the Pastaza Provincial Court, sets a key legal precedent for indigenous rights as well as for rainforest protection.
A spokesperson for the Waorani of Pastaza, Oswando Nenquimo, made the following statement:
“Today we have protected our forest from oil drilling; we have protected our water from contamination; we have protected our children from sickness. This is a legal precedent for indigenous rights,
But the fight is far from over. The government will appeal because they still want the oil beneath our land. Indigenous Nations across the Amazon and the world must band together to protect our homes.
Waorani leader Nemonte Nenquimo told The New Yorker, “The court recognized that the government violated our right to live free and make our own decisions about our territory and self-determination.
“Our territory is our decision, and now, since we are owners, we are not going to let oil enter and destroy our natural surroundings and kill our culture.”
Amazon rainforest Flickr
It’s refreshing to hear that positive steps are being made concerning the rainforests and all that it impacts.
Its refreshing to hear that positive steps are being made concerning the rainforsts and all that it inpacts.