Report
Some of the world’s most interesting oil and gas deposits are found in tropical rainforests. If you managed to catch Konnected.tv’s episode on the Sarayaku community in the Ecuadorean Amazon, you learned about a little village’s struggle to fend off big oil extractors. The people of Sarayaku aren’t alone in their fight to save their homeland. Oil extraction causes the deforestation, degradation and environmental devastation of lands across the world. Toxic drilling by-products, oil spillages and road construction have a devastating effect on countless Indigenous communities and their ancestral territories.

Governments and oil companies have traditionally neglected environmental issues and the interests of local people in favour of productivity and profit. Take the Ecuadorean Amazon, one of the world’s most biodiverse places and home to several Indigenous groups. Since oil giant Texaco entered in the sixties, over 20 billion gallons of toxic waste and 17 million gallons of oil have been dumped into the region’s waterways and soil. Those who bear the brunt of the destruction are Indigenous peoples, whose villages have been replaced by hundreds of waste pits and roads. At present, many local groups are battling oil interests throughout the Amazon; the Achuar and Quechua of Peru, the Maya of Belize and the Kichwa of Ecuador, to name a few. Supported by environmental organizations, these communities have mobilized to uphold their rights to their land and resources, clean up spills, win compensation, and protect their way of life for generations to come.
Feb 8, 2016
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