Life on the Amazon oil frontier: From exploration to ecotourism (Mongabay)

LLANCHAMA, ECUADOR - A long passenger boat floats abandoned outside Andres Machoa’s house, along the Tiputini River in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. The community bought the boat more than five years ago when the state-owned oil company, Petroamazonas, moved into the area and promised everyone stable jobs, including as water taxi conductors to transport their staff …

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Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni, home to uncontacted tribes, opens for oil drilling (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park sits in a unique position on the equator, between the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest, which has allowed a rich and distinct biodiversity to flourish. The region is surrounded by towering ceibo and mahogany trees, emblematic of the area, as well as hundreds of endemic birds, …

Historic win by Ecuador’s Waorani could re-shape extraction activities (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR — The indigenous Waorani community in Ecuador won a historic lawsuit against the government late last month, when a three-judge panel ruled that a consultation process conducted with the community in 2012 was inadequate and violated the community’s rights. The ruling immediately suspends any possibility of selling the community’s territory for the sake …

Indigenous Waorani win landmark legal case against Ecuador gov’t (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The indigenous Waorani community in Ecuador won a landmark lawsuit on Friday against three government bodies for conducting a faulty consultation process with the community before putting their territory up for sale in an international oil auction. The ruling immediately suspends any possibility of selling the community's land for oil exploration. It …

How Drones and GPS Are Helping Indigenous People in Ecuador Save the Amazon (The Pacific Standard)

SINANGOE, ECUADOR — The day begins with everyone drinking a big cup of Yoko. A man called Viejo ("old man," in Spanish) carves the bark off a special vine found only in the Amazon highlands and mixes it with water. The resulting brew has a gritty texture and a bitter, earthy taste and gives the …

Indigenous Waorani sue Ecuadorian government over land rights (Al Jazeera)

PUYO, ECUADOR - More than 200 indigenous Waorani people and their supporters marched to the court in the Amazon city of Puyo on Thursday to begin their high-stakes hearing against the Ecuadorian government. After long protesting oil extraction in its territory, the community are suing three government bodies - the Ministry of Energy and Non-renewable …

“Mujeres de Pied” (Exhibition: Quito, Ecuador)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  I participated in this photo exhibition titled “Mujeres de Pied” (Women on Foot) at the Numismatic Museum in Quito, Ecuador, from March 8-31. Various photographers from Ecuador participated in the exhibition, which featured images of women at work as a way to celebrate women’s unique participation in the economy for International Women’s …

Indigenous Organizers Halted Plans for Oil Drilling in the Amazon (In These Times)

PUYO, ECUADOR—Rosa Elvira Chuji Gualingai, 50, came to the city to pressure the government. Watching the traffic outside her office window, she says, “I can't get used to this lifestyle.” The indigenous activist, leader of the Shiwiar community of Kurintsa, was raised deep in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by towering ceibo and palm trees. With …

Indigenous group sues Ecuador for earmarking its land for oil drilling (Mongabay)

PUYO, Ecuador — An indigenous community in Ecuador has filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to consult with it before putting its territory up for sale to the oil industry. The Waorani community announced the lawsuit Feb. 27 with a historic march through the city of Puyo, capital of the Amazon province of …

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 …