Ecuadorians express support for forest protection


Women leaders of Ecuadorian indigenous communities met this month in Quito with President Lenín Moreno to denounce oil drilling and other extractive industry in their rainforest region. (Photo by Edú León)

Indigenous communities and environmentalists in Ecuador are denouncing a newly unveiled plan by President Lenín Moreno to offer more oil-development concessions in the country’s Amazon region. The government on Feb. 27 announced that by year’s end it will auction 16 concessions in the relatively untouched southeastern portion of the Ecuadorian Amazon and an unspecified number of others in the northern portion between oilfields already in operation. But the announcement followed a Feb. 4 national referendum in which 70% of voters supported a 50,000-hectare (124,000-acre) expansion of an area earmarked for the exclusive use of indigenous people living in voluntary isolation inside Yasuní National Park, a prized rainforest reserve. The measure also requires that the space allowed for oil-extraction activity in a... [Log in to read more]

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