Ecuador: Indigenous & Afro-descendant communities call for support to legal case against oil palm companies over environmental, health impacts

Author: The members of the Afro-Ecuadorian community, La Chiquita & of the Awá Indigenous community, Guadualito, Published on: 4 January 2016

“Support La Chiquita and Guadualito Ancestral Communities and Nature”

In this moment the first civil court case in Ecuador and the world in defense of Nature is in process. In this case Nature is a subject of rights. She presents her demands together with us, two ancestral communities: the Afro-Ecuadorian community of La Chiquita and the Awá Indigenous community of Guadualito. Our communities are located in the Ecuadorian-Colombian border—Canton San Lorenzo (Esmeraldas Province)—located in the northwest region of the Ecuadorian coast…Our lawsuit demands that oil palm companies suspend their harmful practices that have led to these consequences: massive deforestation of the rain forest, major biodiversity loss, excessive river pollution, and subsequently, the serious deterioration of health and of the food sovereignty of our people. We request that the oil palm companies repair the damage and respect all beings that inhabit Nature…On July 23, 2010, we filed an Civil Suit for Damages to the Provincial Court of Esmeraldas, against two oil palm companies: Esteros EMA SA Palesema and Los Andes SA, who have cultivated oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and extract its oil for biofuels—in the Canton of San Lorenzo for more than the past fifteen years. 

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