Photo: Higor Prestes via Unsplash


Success for indigenous peoples: Ecuador votes against oil exploration in the Amazon

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 also repeatedly supported the campaign and the actors on the ground in order to actually 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, partly because of the national campaign of Climate Alliance in Luxembourg.

The decision from Ecuador is a positive signal for the rights of nature and indigenous peoples in the Amazon. But the example should also be an inspiration for Europe. After all, it is just as important to protect nature here and to stop the exploitation of fossil raw materials.