At the end of November 2012, Ecuador announced it was selling access to yet more of its rainforest in a large oil auction.
Exploration rights to 13 blocks of rainforest were put up for bidding - a total of almost 8 million acres - with the government considering adding another 5. Oil companies have 6 months to make their bids, with the final contracts due to be signed in September 2013.
The enormous biodiversity of Ecuador’s forests is under constant threat from the oil industry. The sell-off also threatens the lives and culture of the country’s indigenous people.
Representatives of seven indigenous nationalities gathered in Quito to protest at the latest auctioning of rights to their ancestral lands.
Ecuador might not be rich but allowing its own environment to be destroyed for revenue is immensely short-sighted. Tell the Ecuadorian government to stop selling rainforest to the oil companies.
We the undersigned ask that you stop selling crucial natural habitat and the lands of indigenous people to destructive industries.
The XI Round, in which explorations rights to at least 13 different blocks of rainforest are being auctioned to the oil companies, will inevitably lead to yet more destruction of Ecuador’s natural resources. The loss of biodiversity and the human rights impact make the short-term profit insupportable. Sustainable industries that depend on the rainforests, including tourism, are also threatened.
Please reconsider this plan. We understand that Ecuador is not a rich country but its future depends on protecting its incredible natural resources. Letting the oil industry destroy your country bit by bit is short-sighted in the extreme and we ask that you start considering alternative economic strategies immediately.
Thank you for your attention.