Ecuador is facing one of its most challenging cases for Rights of Nature as the government moves ahead with a contract for open pit mining in Ecuador. In March 2012, the government of Ecuador signed a contract with Ecuacorrientes, a company of Chinese capital to extract copper, gold and silver from the Condor Highland via open pit mining in southeastern Ecuador. Today the humid tropical forest of the Condor Highland is one of the richest and most biodiverse areas of South America.
The proposed Mirador Project includes an area encompassing almost 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres). Mirador’s open pit mines will eliminate all the vegetation and the superficial soil layer of the mined area including 4,000 species of vascular plants that contain the richest biodiversity in South America. The project violates the rights of these ecosystems and the Ecuadorian Constitution. It will cause the complete removal of fragile habitats in which endemic amphibians and reptiles live on the edge of extinction.
Environmental, human rights, indigenous organizations, and local community members from the Condor region in Ecuador have joined together to file a lawsuit to stop the Mirador Mining Project. The suit claims that the mine would violate the protected rights of ecosystems per the Articles on Rights of Nature in the Ecuador Constitution. The case is now being heard by the Ecuadorian court of the 25th Civil Judge of Pichincha.
Add your voice to those of the citizens of Ecuador calling for rights of the fragile ecosystems of the Condor Highlands as guaranteed in the Constitution to be upheld!
Dear Judge Paul Narvaez, Twenty Fifth Civil Judge of Pichincha
We call upon you to uphold Articles 71-73 which guarantee Rights of Nature in the Ecuadorian Constitution and protect the fragile ecosystems surrounding the Mirador Mining Project.
In the legal process assigned with the number 17325-2013-0038 and that is being processed by your authority in the Twenty Fifth Civil Court of Pichincha; and based in Art. 12 of the Organic Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control, we request that you uphold the provisions of the Constitution in relation to Rights of Nature / prevention or precautionary principle.
We ask this as concerned citizens who value the biodiversity of the beautiful country of Ecuador.