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A Message from Nature and Culture International on the Current Situation and Recent Events in Ecuador


Strategic Area: People -
Content Type: News
Country: Ecuador -

A Message from Nature and Culture International on the Current Situation and Recent Events in Ecuador

After 18 days of national protest and strike in Ecuador, the government, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the Council of Indigenous Evangelical Peoples and Organizations of Ecuador (FEINE), and the National Confederation of Campesinos, Indigenous and Ecuadorian African Organizations (FENOCIN) reached an agreement on June 30 of this year to end the national strike and begin discussions. In response, Nature and Culture International is releasing the following manifesto: 

  1. We express our condolences to the families of the deceased and our solidarity with the victims of violence during the mobilizations. We deeply regret the loss of human life.   
  2. We also express our gratitude to those who did everything possible to stop the escalation of violence, in a social conflict that arose from a plea for justice and equity from Indigenous territories.  
  3. We recognize the willingness of those parties that wished to resolve differences through dialogue and to establish agreements to examine and review social, economic, and environmental policies in favor of all Ecuadorians.  
  4. We believe that the legal framework, the technical and scientific criteria, the consultation processes, and the social agreement are the fundamental elements on which territorial planning, the use of natural resources, and the administration of territories should be based, with a longview of achieving the sustainable use of natural resources, the conservation of megabiodiversity and the proper administration of territories.  
  5. Compliance with agreements and the efficient management of strategic ecosystems, protected areas, ancestral territories, areas declared as intangible, archaeological zones, and water-protected areas, require today more than ever the support of academic institutions, civil society organizations, and the State as a whole. We call for urgent collective action. 
  6. Regarding the conflict between mining and hydrocarbon activities with the use of hydrologic resources, the identification and protection of Areas of Hydrologic Importance and strategic ecosystems for the provision of this ecosystem service for the country is urgent. According to our approximations, more than 17 million acres have priority as “Areas of very high hydrological importance”. Likewise, more than 70 Decentralized Autonomous Governments have already identified and established special management frameworks in their respective Areas of Hydrologic Importance. The National Environmental Authority has so far established 16 Water Protection Areas. This knowledge and experience can be very useful in the framework of the development and fulfillment of the agreements signed on June 30. 
  7. The health of cities, the sustainability of industries, and the development of the country, in general, will be possible only through the adequate protection of nature and its ecosystem services, valuing the wisdom and the determining role of Indigenous communities, peoples, and nationalities, and providing facilities for adequate food production. 
  8. We send a message of hope to Ecuadorians for the future of their people and their extraordinary natural landscapes. May the agreements they have reached, and those that will be built by the parties, be an opportunity to renew trust, to put institutions and organizations at the service of the public. May this be the time to jointly develop peaceful solutions to the crisis that the country is experiencing, within the framework of the recognition of plurinationality and true inclusion, in a society free of prejudices and stigmatizations. 
  9. We commit ourselves as Nature and Culture International to continue to collaborate with communities, peoples and nationalities, NGOs, universities, and local and central government, with the aim of building a more equitable, productive, supportive, and sustainable nation.