In praise of.. Ecuador.

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sealion.jpgIt sounds like tree-hugging taken to the next level - rights for forests, rivers, and even air? 

Yet this constitutional proposal before the Ecuadorian people promises exactly that (detailed wording here), to help Ecuador take on the multinationals who currently use the rivers as open sewers for their industrial waste, amongst other egregious behaviour.

Ecuador has extraordinary natural riches to protect, including the various iconic inhabitants of Galapagos (like the sealion cub pictured above). Constitutional rights might not be the most immediately obvious way to deliver those protections, but it's an interesting idea, and I hope we get a chance to see how well it works.


This is very interesting and I'll keep an eye on how this pans out. I went through La Oroya in Peru yesterday which is one of the most polluted towns in the World.

It is also in one of the poorest regions of the world and it is very apparent that the economic benefits of this mining goes no where near the local communities.

As well as the pollution, contamination of water, health impacts on surrounding communities and environmental degradation, the mining in the Andes also leads to water shortages as water goes into the mines or down to the fruit plantations on the coast. BTW The fruit from these plantations tend to get canned and shipped to Europe.

This is a region rich in resources and water. Yet it is poor and drought-ridden. This is a rights issue not one of charity, for it to be tackled by Ecuador through their constitution is promising. What lacks in Peru is the political will.

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