Venezuelans flee violence in Ecuador (New Internationalist)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Ricardo Perez says he feels scared walking down the streets of Quito these days. He can’t wait to get back to his home in Venezuela. The 24-year-old migrant says he has long received dirty looks, been called names for being Venezuelan, and told to go home. Tensions hit a peak last week …

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Time to shift focus to existing environmental laws, says new UN report (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The most important thing we can do to address climate change isn’t to create new regulations, but ensure that countries comply with the regulations that already exist. That’s according to the first ever report on environmental policies worldwide, released by the UN on Jan. 24. The report concludes that environmental concerns have …

California split over carbon trading plan for tropical forests (Reuters)

QUITO, ECUADOR - (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Indigenous leaders from tropical forest nations have urged Californian regulators to reject a proposed international carbon trading scheme, arguing it would violate forest peoples' rights. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is due to decide in April whether to adopt the California Tropical Forest Standard (TFS), a controversial plan …

Mega presa en la selva ecuatoriana sigue cuestionada (InfoAmazonia)

CHACO, ECUADOR - La presa Coca Codo Sinclair (CCS) en Ecuador ha sido elogiada, tanto a nivel local como internacional, por ser una gran hazaña de ingeniería. Pero de acuerdo con ciudadanos locales y expertos, este proyecto masivo también ha tenido un alto costo. Hasta ahora, no ha cumplido con las expectativas económicas prometidas a …

Rock icon Roger Waters denounces Chevron in Ecuador (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR – Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters took a break from his South America-Mexico tour on Tuesday to visit Ecuador and denounce oil giant Chevron Texaco. Rogers said he wanted to draw attention to cleanup in the Amazon Rainforest the company was ordered to carry out by a judge in Ecuador, who also …

Ecuador’s indigenous march over 600km to demand an end to mining (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - More than 1,500 indigenous protesters had a clear message as they march through Ecuador's capital Quito on Wednesday: Stop mining on, or near, indigenous territory. "We need to fight together," said Alexandra, a Kichwa indigenous woman who walked more than 600km in traditional sandals from the southern Amazonian province of Zamora Chinchipe …

Can Ecuador do palm oil right? Jurisdictional RSPO commitment stirs hope (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  Ecuador’s oil palm industry has taken what many see as another step forward by committing to a jurisdictional RSPO system as a way to transform the entire sector by making it cleaner and more sustainable. But some wonder if a commitment to RSPO is enough, considering the industry’s questionable reputation in some parts …

Community vs. company: A tiny town in Ecuador battles a palm oil giant (Mongabay)

WIMBI, ECUADOR - When Yessenia Padilla heard that her community crops were being destroyed, she and about 70 of her neighbors rushed out to intervene. They grabbed large boards, rocks, the machetes they use to harvest their fields, and took off yelling. She said that when they arrived, they saw workers from the oil palm …

‘I can’t get out’: Farmers feel the pressure as Ecuador’s palm oil sector grows (Mongabay)

LA CONCORDIA, ECUADOR - Jorge Jurado has been farming oil palm on Ecuador’s coast for almost 20 years, and has seen the industry go through many changes. But over the last few years, he and hundreds of other small-scale farmers have been hit by two major plagues: abnormally low market prices for palm oil over …