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In Major Win for Indigenous Rights, Ecuador Votes to Ban Oil Drilling in Protected Amazon Lands

Written by on 22/08/2023

Ecuadorian voters have overwhelmingly supported a ban on future oil extraction in a biodiverse section of the Amazon’s Yasuní National Park — a historic referendum result that will protect Indigenous Yasuní land from development. We speak with Helena Gualinga, a youth Kichwa Sarayaku environmental activist from Ecuador who has fought against oil drilling all her life and says the results of the vote not only set a “crucial precedent” as the first time a country has voted by democratic ballot initiative on resource extraction in the Amazon, but also demonstrates that “Ecuador is a country that is committed to protecting the Amazon rainforest and to protecting Indigenous peoples.”

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