Home > Nachrichten > Aktuellen Ereignissen > Ecuador has set an example by voting to keep oil in the soil in the Yasuni national park

Ecuadorians have voted in a historic referendum to halt the development of all new oilwells in the Yasuní national park in the Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

Voters opted to safeguard the unique biosphere by a margin of nearly 20% with more than 90% of the ballot counted – with more than 58% in favour and 41% against, according to Ecuador’s National Electoral Comission.

Read more: Ecuadorians vote to halt oil drilling in biodiverse Amazonian national park – The Guardian, 21 August 2023

Ecuador is facing a historic moment in the fight to protect the Amazon and its guardians. For the first time in history, every citizen of this unique oil producing country will get to vote YES or NO about the oil exploitation in the ITT block in the Yasuní National Park. With the victory of the Yes option, the country will have to permanently leave the oil in the soil in one of the most biodiverse places in the world. This will be a crucial message to the World towards the urgent need to leave fossil fuels in the ground and take real and bold decisions to stop the ravaging Climate Crisis.

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal has heard the Yasuní case 7 times: in 2 local and 5 International Rights of Nature Tribunals.

Read more: El Tribunal Internacional de los Derechos de la Naturaleza llama a decir Sí Al Yasuní – International Rights of Nature Tribunal, 19 August 2023

The first International Rights of Nature Tribunal was held in Quito in January 2014. Dr Vandana Shiva was President of this first Tribunal.

In 2014, these ethical tribunals had already identified four major violations that still persist until 2023 in Yasuni:

1 Violation of the Rights of Nature

2 Violation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation

3 Violation of the Right to effective judicial protection & legal certainty

4 Violation of the Right of political participation

Source – watch more: El Tribunal Internacional de los Derechos de la Naturaleza llama a decir Sí Al Yasunì – Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature GARN, 19 August 2023

Ecuador ‘s decision to exploit the oil fields ITT Block, mostly located within the Yasuni National Park, taken from August 15, 2013 , constitutes a serious threat to the conservation and integrity of the exceptional biodiversity of Yasuní National Park .

The rights of ecosystems to exist and flourish, enshrined in the Ecuadorian constitution, may be affected by the exploitation of oil in the ITT block .

Read more: Yasuni ITT Case – International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Here’s the message from Dr Vandana Shiva to the Ecuadorian National Assembly – January 2014

For Oilwatch Costa Rica it has been an honour to have the opportunity to participate as international observers in these elections as well as during this process with our brother country Ecuador. The environmental and indigenous organisations of Ecuador are not alone in this historic and fundamental struggle in defence of life on the planet.

The results of this referendum constitute a firm step towards the transition to a post-oil society in Latin America. A just transition against the advance of oil companies & towards ecological reparation – Oilwatch Costa Rica; Fabian Pacheco & Mauricio Álvarez

Read more [Spanish]: Ecuador dijo sí a la protección de la amazonia ecuatoriana: Parque Nacional Yasuní sin más petroleras – Surcos, 21 August 2023

We have therefore met with our Ecuadorian counterparts to discuss the steps to be taken, which will be communicated in due course, so as to effectively observe the processes of infrastructure removal, closure of operations, plugging of wells and restoration of the affected areas. We will join efforts to monitor and contribute to these processes in any way we can.

The efforts of the Ecuadorian people are setting a historic example worldwide. They are opening paths for de-fossilisation and de-petrolisation, the implementation of common but differentiated responsibilities in the face of the climate crisis, also for the reparation of the ecological debt of the North to the South, the battle against false solutions to the crisis and for a greater sensitivity towards existing and possible paths. Yasuní is the territory from which a true and just transition will begin, to join territorial efforts and advance in this transformation that cannot be postponed.

Read more [Spanish]: Declaración de la Misión Internacional Por El Yasuní – Tegantai, Agencia de Noticias Ecologistas, 22 August 2023