CSOs being shut down for opposing sale of the environment
Ecuador has tried since 2010 to raise funds internationally for the "Yasuni Initiative" to compensate the government for abstaining from oil exploitation in the rainforest. But donors did not provide funds to the scale expected, and by mid-2013 the government decided to drop the protection of the Yasuni Reserve and it has now offered 13 "blocks" of the forest to oil companies for exploration and drilling.
Only four blocks have been sold and the President blames the protests of Indigenous leaders, organisations and NGOs for this. As a knee jerk reaction to these actions, the government has ordered NGOs involved in the demonstrations to shut down their operations. NGOs such as 'Fundacion Pachamama' are paying the ultimate price for their advocacy efforts and have been outlawed by the government.
Fundacion Pachamama said in a statement: "For our work in defending rights, we have been attacked publicly and violently by those who hold political power. .. It is also violence to dissolve an organization unexpectedly, without legal cause, without due process that guarantees self defense."
Sign the online petition and show your solidarity now! Fundacion Pachamama is calling on your support to be reinstated. For more information about how you can be involved visit the Amazon Watch website.
The NGO Pachamama has been heavily involved in the efforts to preserve the Amazon forest and in voicing the concerns of indigenous peoples over the sale of the Amazon, claiming the collective rights of indigenous peoples to the territory. It has supported and won legal cases so that indigenous communities won cases over the Equadorian government at Interamerican Human Rights Commission. They now support National Coalition of Indigeous Peoples (CONAIE) on behalf of indegnous peoples in the Yasuni national park, which will be heavily affected by oil exploration.
Fundacion Pachamama is part of the ACCRA Caucus on Forest and Climate Change, a network supported by Southern Voices.