LETTER FROM INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DELIVERD TO ECUADOR’S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

The Amazon rainforest is our home, and our home is keeping us all alive!  And yet, your world is destroying it. What we are asking you for is very simple:  For you to listen to us, to respect us and to recognize that we, Indigenous Peoples, have the right to decide what happens in our home. We have made our decision– we must defend our home, the Amazon. Will you protect our right to decide?

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We need to get resources on the ground to ensure that Indigenous Peoples get to decide the future of the Amazon.

WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT

Right-wing Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso just announced plans to rapidly expand mining in the Amazon and DOUBLE daily oil production within a year. That’s 500,000 more barrels of Amazon crude DAILY in the midst of a global climate emergency!

Across the Amazon, governments and multinational companies do not recognize the right of Indigenous peoples to say “No” to extractive projects in their rainforest homelands.  But we just changed that.

In January 2022, Ecuador’s Supreme Court published a groundbreaking ruling IN FAVOR of Indigenous peoples’ right to decide the future of their lands in the Amazon.

Sinangoe’s years-long battle against gold mining is an example of the type of frontlines Indigenous-led climate action needed in order to stave off a global climate crisis. It marks an important milestone in the fight for Indigenous autonomy and against climate change, where Indigenous peoples get to decide the future of the Amazon.

The next court battle to further clarify Indigneous peoples’ right to consent in Ecuador is on the horizon. This year, the Constitutional Court will hear oral arguments and rule on the Waorani of Pastaza’s right to stop the government from auctioning off their ancestral lands to oil companies.

Across the Amazon, governments and multinational companies do not recognize the right of Indigenous peoples to say “No” to extractive projects in their rainforest homelands.  But we’re about to change that.  In Ecuador we have the opportunity to convince the highest court in the land to grant Indigenous peoples the legal right to make the final decision on any oil, mining or hydroelectric project in their forests.

If we win, we will not only take millions of acres of indigenous forests off the block for oil and mining companies in Ecuador, but can propel this legal precedent across the Amazon.

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TWO TERRITORIES AT THE HEART OF A GLOBAL FIGHT

Waorani of Pastaza

The Waorani of Pastaza protected 500,000 acres of their ancestral territory from an oil auction in 2019 and put a halt to the planned expansion of 16 new oil blocks deep into the central-south Amazon.

A’i Kofán of Sinangoe

The A’i Kofán of Sinangoe canceled 52 gold-mining concessions in 2018 along one of Ecuador’s most important Amazonian headwaters.

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We need to get letters to the Court and resources on the ground to ensure that Indigenous Peoples get to decide the future of the Amazon

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