Thursday, January 24, 2013

Save the Amazon - please help!

The Amazon rainforest is a spectacular place - vast and diverse, it plays a crucial role in many natural processes that affect this entire planet.  Books, texts, articles and many other forms of media have been written on all aspects of this incredible forest, so I won't go into those details here, but recently a pressing issue has come up in the Kichwa community of Sani Isla in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  

For a while now they have been resisting the pressure from Petroamazonas, a large oil company who wants to take over their land, a pristine area of lowland tropical rainforest that holds some of the highest biodiversity on earth in the Western Amazon.  The oil company is getting more and more persistent and now the courageous people of Sani are willing to "die fighting" for their land, which protects incredible biodiversity and where jaguars, harpy eagles, macaws, tapirs, anacondas and other rare and vulnerable wildlife calls their home, in addition to the 400+ community members itself.  

Several years ago, Sani opened up a beautiful eco-lodge, Sani Lodge, on their land not far from the community, which has attracted visitors from all over the world to experience this pristine rainforest, learn about Amazonian culture and gain a greater understanding of our natural environment and the world we live in.  The lodge employs members of the community in all aspects and strives to provide exceptional experiences to everyone who visits, and they do a wonderful job at it.  If the oil company moves in, the future of the land, the community, the lodge and so much more are questionable.

A large-scale petition was released today requesting signatures to support the community in their battle with Petroamazonas.  It is addressed to President Rafael Correa and is requesting his support in further protecting this area of Ecuador from oil exploration.  I have a number of friends in this community and despite the fact that they are few in comparison to the oil company, they are willing to stand up and fight for their land, their culture and the Amazon as a whole.  They are doing all that they can and more but need our help.  Please show your support and sign this petition here!!!  

~ Jenn 

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