Photo: Higor Prestes via Unsplash


Success for indigenous peoples: Ecuador votes against oil exploration in Amazonia

In a landmark vote on 20 August, the people of Ecuador seized their chance to secure the rights of nature. In the legally binding vote, the people voted to stop oil exploration in the Yasuní rainforest, a great success also for the indigenous peoples of the rainforest.

This success is also due to pressure from civil society and the Yasuní ITT campaign, which demanded compensation for the expected losses from the international community. Climate Alliance has repeatedly supported the campaign and the actors on the ground in order to make the referendum possible. The German Bundestag also planned to support the initiative back in 2008, but the then Development Minister withdrew this decision at short notice. Luxembourg, on the other hand, supported the Yasuní ITT campaign financially, in part as a result of the national campaign that Climate Alliance Luxembourg run.

The decision from Ecuador is a positive signal for the rights of nature and indigenous peoples in Amazonia. The example should also serve as an inspiration for Europe, where it is just as important to protect nature and stop fossil resource exploitation.