Indigenous Voices Send Out a Call to Keep the Oil in the Ground

The Amazon rain forests are the lungs of the world. If these rain forests are destroyed, the entire world will suffer catastrophic changes.

The highly biodiverse Amazon basin is a keystone area in combating climate change because it regulates the entire planet’s health and drives global weather patterns.

Yet these rain forests are being cleared at an alarming rate.

Oil production in such a fragile environment as the Amazon basin is not only about clearing trees, it’s also about the pollution that contaminates waterways and the land, killing off plants, animals, and human indigenous populations. The health of many indigenous communities near these oil production sites has deteriorated dramatically.

Shortsighted governments and multinational companies need to recognize that mankind’s very survival depends on not extracting and burning our global oil reserves, so we must act now by limiting fossil fuel extraction. Preserving regions most critical for our survival—from the Amazon to the Arctic—is the solution to avoiding climate chaos, for these areas help regulate the climate around the world. That’s why the global Keep the Oil in the Ground campaign was started, beginning with the Amazon.

Young woman leader from Ecuador driving campaign

Nina Gualinga is an educated young leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador, who recently spoke about her community’s struggle in an online viral video, Keep the Oil in the Ground. She represented the Sarayaku youth at the final hearing before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica, as well as international events, and a press conference on the historic court victory with Amnesty International in London. Nina splits her time between Sweden and Sarayaku. She is studying human rights at university in Sweden.

Gualinga says: “Ecuador is not going to get out of poverty just because they come and drill for oil in the Amazon. Ecuador is going to lose the only rain forest that we have left. It’s going to destroy cultures, the environment, kill animals—that’s not getting out of poverty.”

Act today, and share this video with everyone you know who likes to breathe clean air.

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