Despite its tiny size, Ecuador is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, with more vertebrate and endemic plant species than the entire United States and Northern Europe combined. This mega-diverse nation also contains some of the world's most endangered forests. The incredibly species rich, north western cloud forests of Ecuador have experienced around 95% deforestation — only fragments of previous habitats remain. Many species unique to the region (endemics) are under threat of extinction and many more remain unknown to science. In spite of its global significance as one of the world's most biodiverse countries, around 14% of its total land area has been secretly sold to multinational mining companies by the Ecuadorean government. Many of these mining concessions overlap protected forests and indigenous reserves.
of mining concessions in Ecuador have been purchased by Australian and Canadian companies. Mining has become increasingly militarised, with local soldiers and police guarding private mines
Many of the areas being opened to mining are home to indigenous tribes. They stand to lose both their ancestral homelands & their way of life
WHAT IS THE RAINFOREST ACTION GROUP?
The Rainforest Action Group (Melbourne) undertakes research, education, advocacy work, and non-violent direct action to protect rainforests worldwide. We are committed to securing the earth's ecological future and a sustainable and equitable society. We are entirely volunteer-run. Our current campaign focus is halting the massive expansion of mining and oil and gas production in Ecuador.
We are committed to a process of decolonization and peaceful coexistence between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, communities and nations through creative co-resistance to colonialism and its manifestations of patriarchy, capitalism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, western privilege and corporate hegemony. Supporting indigenous self-determination and building alliances between indigenous organisations in Australia and abroad is a key aim.
The Rainforest Action Group actively supports CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador) and local Ecuadorian conservationists and farming communities in their struggle to halt the massive expansion of mining in Ecuador.
CONAIE was founded by 500 indigenous representatives in 1986. Composed of three regional federations, it incorporates Ecuador's Shuar, Achuar, Siona, Secoya, Cofán, Huaorani, Záparo, Chachi, Tsáchila, Awá, Epera, Manta, Wancavilca and Quichua tribal groups.