Report shows new mining concessions could severely decrease biodiversity and ecosystem services in Ecuador.
Our results reveal the potential losses that mining could cause: eight critically endangered species, including two primates (brown-headed spider monkey and white-fronted capuchin), 37 endangered species, 153 vulnerable, 89 near threatened, and a large number of less threatened species... The short-term national profits from mining will not compensate for the permanent biodiversity losses, and the long-term ecosystem service and economic losses at the local and regional level.
Ecuador's policy of silencing NGOs that question government policies and programs has gotten the world's attention. UN experts on human rights claim it is a strategy to asphyxiate civil society.
Cuban-born Carlos Zorilla has lived for more than 35 years in Ecuador, where he is a leading activist opposing extractivism. He is the co-founder and former President of DECOIN (Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag), which works to protect the environment and promote the sustainable development of the Intag Valley in North Western Ecuador.
Read more at Open Democracy
RIO BLANCO MINE SUSPENDED
3 JUNE 2018
Cuenca judge Paúl Serrano has ordered the temporary suspension of mining operations at the Río Blanco gold and silver mine near the Cajas Mountain community of Molleturo. The order also calls for a demilitarization of the area around the mine, which is currently guarded by 150 police and military personnel. The suspension order will be in effect for 25 days as data about the impact of the mine on water sources is reviewed by the Universities of Cuenca and Azuay.
Read more at Telesur
Activists celebrate around Yaku Perez, Ecuarunari president, on Friday night in Cuenca after a judge ruled to suspend mining activities at the Junefield Rio Blanco site. Photo: Yasunidos
OIL & GAS EXTRACTION IN INDIGENOUS TERRITORIES
After learning how oil contamination has affected other indigenous communities, the Waorani people from Pastaza province in Ecuador plan to challenge a possible drilling concession in their own Amazonian territory using a strategy they call “spear and law.”
Nenquimo also serves as the voice of the Waorani people to the others in attendance. “We have always defended our territory and our elders,” he says, relaying the message of a Waorani woman. “We still have the present moment to fight and defend our territory; we want to leave this territory healthy for the young people from future generations. We want them to live without contamination and without harm to their health.”
Read more in Mongabay