Ecuador Advances Plans for Oil Exploitation in Indigenous Territory

December 18, 2014 | By Ryan Andersen
Editor's Note: This is a special update from Pachamama Alliance CEO, Bill Twist, on our work with our indigenous partners in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador

For nearly two decades, Pachamama Alliance has worked to protect the South-Central Amazon region of Ecuador at the invitation of the Achuar people and their indigenous neighbors, the Shuar, Kichwa, Sápara, and Shiwiar.


This nearly eight-million-acre area of pristine rainforest—the most bio-diverse region of the entire Amazon basin—has remained free from oil development and other extractive industries. However, two years ago the Ecuadorian government announced plans for oil development in this region. This past year, a development concession to two blocks of land, approximately 500,000 acres, was assigned to a Chinese oil company. These blocks, in Sápara territory, represent a gateway into the entire South-Central region.

Your donation today will help us keep oil development out of the South-Central Amazon rainforest of Ecuador.

We are focusing our efforts on providing support to the Sápara communities to keep the oil industry at bay. We are conducting trainings so the communities are aware of the possible effects of oil development and so they are fully informed and can assert their rights under Ecuadorian and international law. We are helping build out a radio based communication network to connect the widely dispersed communities.


And with your support, we are also working with the Sápara to conduct a detailed environmental survey of their territory—scientifically establishing a baseline of the current pristine condition of the water, soil, plants and air in the region. This data, showing the pure condition of the region prior to oil-development, will be a deterrent to oil companies knowing that it is available should legal action arise over future spills or damage to the area.

Donate today for the permanent protection of this ecosystem that is critical to the future of all life.

The world’s increasing concern about climate change is adding support to the growing global movement to leave oil reserves untouched, in the ground, especially under pristine tropical rainforests. The large recent drop in oil prices is hastening the time when oil projects in tropical rainforests will clearly make no economic sense. That turning point is coming soon.

Our job is to continue to support the indigenous people as they stand on the front lines to halt the expansion of the oil frontier into their lands. With your support, we can hold the line and achieve permanent protection of this ecosystem so critical to the future of all life.

Thank you for standing for the Amazon rainforest and with the people who call this region home.

In partnership,
Bill Twist
Pachamama Alliance CEO