Escaping coronavirus in Ecuador’s Amazon (Al Jazeera’s The Take, Podcast)

QUITO, ECUADOR - In May, Al Jazeera interviewed me for their podcast The Take about how indigenous communities in Ecuador's Amazon were forced to deal with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, lock down, environmental disasters, and oil spills in their communities all at once. This is the outcome of that talk: https://podcasts.aljazeera.com/the-take-episodes/2020/07/27/escaping-coronavirus-in-ecuadors-amazon (Photo Credit: Jeronimo Zuniga/Amazon …

‘I’ll never be ready for this port,’ locals say of Colombia’s proposed project (Mongabay)

TRIBUGÁ, COLOMBIA — Aida Leides Palacios Moreno strolls through the narrow dirt streets in the Colombian town of Tribugá surrounded by palm and plantain trees rustling in the seaside breeze. She’s trying to round up her neighbors for a meeting to discuss yet another ecotourism project. It’s a quiet morning in February. Most of the …

The hidden toll of lockdown on rainforests (BBC Future Planet)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  You might be forgiven for thinking that the global lockdown measures keeping us all at home can only have been good for the environment. Pollution in cities has decreased, wild animals have increasingly been spotted entering urban areas, and many new cycle lanes have opened up worldwide. But in the world’s tropical …

Indigenous race into Ecuador’s Amazon to escape coronavirus (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Nemonte Nenquimo, an Indigenous Waorani leader from Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, watched as her Indigenous colleagues, family and friends rushed back to their territory this past week, attempting to escape the threat of the coronavirus engulfing the region. Some travelled by car or bus, others flew by charter plane or travelled by boat …

Ecuador’s vanishing jaguars: the big cat vital to rainforest survival (The Guardian)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  Across the American continent, from the north of Mexico to Argentina, the jaguar has long been revered for its strength and power. But in some parts of Ecuador, the largest cat in South America is increasingly at risk as roads, mining and agriculture take over the rainforests. The loss of habitat is …

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 …

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 …