At the end of December 2013 Yasunidos Netherlands, Friends of Yasuní and 15 sympathizing environmental organizations from the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Germany as well as the Friends of Earth Latin America and Carribean presented a letter of protest, addressed to President Correa, to the Ecuadorian Embassy in the Netherlands.
Thank you for your support and solidarity!
The Hague, December 16th 2013
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to you collectively to express our disagreement with your plans to exploit the Yasuní National Park. It is with deep disappointment that we have watched the Assembly vote in approval of declaring blocks 31 and 43 of the Yasuní National park of national interest when several surveys indicate that close than 70% of Ecuadorian citizens support the initiative to preserve this ecological and cultural gem. If implemented, this decision will irreversibly and immeasurably damage the ecosystem and biodiversity of the area. Thereby, it will put even more pressure on the already fragile livelihoods of the indigenous people of the area, including those living in socalled
“voluntary” isolation. The exploitation of the ITT ignores several constitutional guarantees and leaves the principles of Sumak Kawsay and Buen Vivir as a mere slogan with no meaning whatsoever.
The Yasuní ITT initiative is emblematic for the worldwide struggle for environmental justice against climate change, the preservation of diversity and the assurance of the rights of indigenous peoples. Keeping the oil under ground in the ITT is an example of a move to a different development model that is not based on the sacrifice of nature, territories and cultures. It is an idea that has traveled the world, and even inspired the verb “Yasunización”.
For these reasons, we stand in support of Ecuadorian and International organizations, such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, national and international scholars and thousands of citizens that raise their voices to stop oil exploration inside the park. We do not believe this is the only way out of poverty, but rather the way for continuing with it. There are alternatives for acquiring the necessary funds to continue investing
in the development of the country that have already been proposed from different sectors of civil society in Ecuador and abroad. Among others, a progressive taxation system, elimination of gas subsidies, reduction of public
spending in areas not considered urgent, i.e. less investment in communication campaigns, and sustainable tourism. The Yasuní ITT initiative is alive and will be maintained by the civil society, making us proud, knowing that in the preservation of the park and its people lies the commitment to the future of the country and the world.
We watched also with deep disappointment the denial of the Presidency and the Assembly for calling to a referendum, in spite of the society claims and the explicit enablement of the Constitution. We hope that the independence and democratic spirit will prevail in the institutions that now will assess the process for a referendum organized by the Ecuadorian society. We will remain vigilant that constitutional rights are met and support the thousands of people in their legitimate right to resist and demonstrate to keep the Yasuní alive!
Aseed (Action for Solidarity Environment Equality and Diversity) – Netherlands
Friends of Earth Latin America and Caribbean (ATALC)
Catalyst4change – Netherlands
CATAPA – Belgium
Friends of Yasuní – Netherlands
ILEA (Center for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture) – Netherlands
NCIV (Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples) – Netherlands
Nusa AlifURU Foundation – Netherlands
Otherwise – Netherlands
Rettet den Regenwald / Rainforest Rescue – Germany
The Corner House – England
TNI (Transnational Institute) – Netherlands
Urgenda Foundation – Netherlands
XminY – Netherlands