Yay New Zealand, Ecuador (first country to grant constitutional rights to nature), Bolivia and India. Continue reading below the video for another look at the matter.
Thank you, Lisa Brunetti of Zeebra Designs and Destinations, whose “artist’s eyes never rest,” not only for art’s sake, but for goodness, truth and beauty in everything and everyone, amplified by her various art media, including her writing and photography. Thank you for sharing these links, giving us a broader perspective on the environmental situation in Ecuador …
South-western Ecuador, one of the most biologically and culturally diverse areas on the planet, is under threat from open-cast copper and gold mining, and extensive oil exploration contracts that will destroy vast areas of old-growth rainforest, and displace entire groups of indigenous people. The government of Ecuador has allowed foreign mineral and oil companies to plan and begin to carry out highly destructive and polluting extraction techniques on millions of acres of pristine forest in the provinces of Morona-Santiago and Zomora-Chinchipe. These projects will cause irreparable damage to huge tracts of virgin Amazon rainforest. These projects violate both Ecuadorian Domestic law and International Human Rights law.
Ecuador is marketing its lush rainforest to North American tourists. But there won’t be much left if it drills for oil there. Last May, President Rafael Correa gave the go-ahead for the state-run oil company, Petroamazonas, to begin developing an oil-drilling project in the eastern part of the park. “Visit #Yasuni #Ecuador, most biodiverse place on Earth, B4 2 late!” said a tweet from Amazon Watch after the Super Bowl ad [by the Ecuador government for tourism]. The populist president has laid out a series of ambitious social programs to decrease poverty, but his government lacks the money to pay for it. The country is also deeply in debt to China. So the president is in a bind. Despite including the “Rights of Nature” in the 2008 constitution, Correa has shown himself willing to back off of environmental protection in favor of extractive industry projects. Some 20 percent of the country’s oil reserves lie beneath Yasuní, and oil profits would go a long way towards paying for Correa’s reforms. Developing the nature reserve, however, is not worth the environmental cost. The national park is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Scientists found that just one hectare of the park contains more species of trees and wildlife than are found in all of the United States and Canada.
Cordillera del Condor … set out on 28 November to join a protest meeting against a huge Chinese-backed mine being carved out of his ancestral homeland. … Four days later, his son Jorge found Tendetza’s body in an unmarked grave, showing signs of torture and strangulation. … Tendetza was a prominent critic of President Rafael Correa’s government, which he accused of making a U-turn on its pledge to respect nature and indigenous lands. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to legally recognise the rights of nature in its constitution, but it has since approved a series of mega-projects, including large-scale mines and hydroelectric dams – mostly in Chinese hands. … Locals say the community has experienced a surge of conflict since work began at El Mirador, which has been owned by Chinese company EcuaCorriente SA – a subsidiary of CRCC-Tongguan Investment – since it was bought from a Canadian firm in 2010. Shuar families have already been displaced by the project, which if completed will result in the destruction of 450,000 hectares of cloud forest.
Dennis Koenig, dkhometree.com:
There is always more bad news than good when unregulated capitalism is in control, Earth and its occupants being the victims, and in our ignorance — uninformed, inattentive, apathetic positions — we increasingly surrender that control, now to the point of disgracefully choosing oligarchy by insane people in the United Corporations of America in the November 8, 2016 presidential election.