Rains are here again!!
Water and Biodiversity Forum
Ecuador’s Infinite Cynicism
Español: Lo siento, no tengo mucho tiempo para traducir, favor usen google translate.
RAINS ARE HERE AGAIN. And not a moment too soon. We had a hellishly long and dry dry season, with hundreds of hectares of mainly shrub and terciary forests burned close to agricultural areas. One of the worst years I recall. The rains were nearly a month late. The drought conditions were general in all of Ecuador. But now it seems the normal rainy season is here again.
Water and Biodiversity Forum. This coming Saturday we will be celebrating the Sixth Water and Biodiversiy Forum. Each year for the past six we’ve organized this public forum to discuss water and biodiversity issues in Intag. Most of the years PRODECI, a local NGO has helped DECOIN fund the event; this year, besides PRODECI, we welcome the support of the Corporación Talleres del Gran Valle, in the Manduriacos regions. This year, we will be in Chontal instead of our usual place of gathering, Pucará- in order to expose more people to the issues affecting our rivers, streams, drinking water and biodiversity. the large hydroelectric dam being built in the area will be one of the issues discussed, as well as water and health, mining and water.
The last time we held the event, about 160 people came, even though it was a rainy morning and it was held in the middle of the week. This year we are expecting a little bit more and the event includes a small theather group, music and prizes awarded to schools for the best poster on water.
ECUADOR’S INFINITE CYNICISM : ECUADOR AT THE UN, 1 OCTOBER 2012
Excerpts of the speech by Ecuador’s delegate to the UN General Assembly, taking place at the UN Headquarters, in New York. October 1, 2012
Quoted parts in bold; rest of article underlined,, my comments are indented
“My country sees it as fundamental that international organizations support and promote all human rights,”
In the meantime, indigenous and campesinos have been charged with terrorism, sabotage and other criminal offenses for protesting against mining and petroleum projects.
“This profound commitment with humanity forces us to encourage tolerance, respect and support for every person,” he said.
One of President Correa’s most infamous remarks that reflects his government’s tolerance, uttered 5 years ago in reference to wide scale protests against mining and petroleum activities and water issues, is this gem: “… the ecologists are extortionists, it is not the communities who protest, the romantic environmentalists and the infantile leftists who want to destabilize the government” (.. ..)”whoever opposes development is a terrorist”. (he really did say that!)
In fact, the Correa government’s intolerance is legendary. He constantly insults the private press, and has even ordered his Ministers and other high officials not to give interviews to independent newspapers, which he considers corrupt. Not too long ago Correa won a lawsuit against a journalist for the publication of an article that he said slandered him (the journalist sought, and received, asylum in the U.S.). Not content with just going for the journalist, he also sued – and won- a court case against the owner of the Universo newspaper, one of Ecuador’s largest print newspaper, for printing the article. He also took to court two individuals who were chosen to be in an officially sponsored auditing committee looking into illegal business deals between the Correa government and Correa’s elder brother. The two individual ran into trouble when they announced that they found evidence of the existence of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal contracts between the Correa government and his brother. And just a few days ago, Vistazo, one of Ecuador-s most prestigious magazine was fined $80,000.00 for publishing an opinion piece on last year’s government- motivated referendum. The opinion piece suggested people vote no on the referendum questions. Pro-government newspapers were not fined for similarly suggesting that people vote yes on the same referendum questions.
“Since people are at the centre of the Government’s Citizen Revolution programme, we have decidedly supported people that are persecuted for the political ideals, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or that have a well-founded fear of integrity in their home countries.”
See above persecution of indigenous and campesinos leaders for daring to oppose extractive projects. Ecuador’s milking of Assange for all its political worth is uniquely disgusting, taking into account the constant assault on freedom of the press and expression at home.
The Ecuadorian official stressed that in addition to human rights, countries should recognize the rights of nature and focus on preserving and regenerating its vital cycles, structure and evolutionary processes.
“By recognizing [nature’s] rights, we close the integral cycle that these have with human rights,” he said, calling for a universal declaration on the rights of nature to ensure its protection,” he said.
The rights of nature is another political cow for the government that is as ludicrous as ludicrous can get once you find out what is really going on in the country.
For example, the Ecuadorian government is aggressively promoting large-scale mining development in pristine forests areas rich in water resources and endangered species of animals. Given the in-perpetuity nature of the environmental impacts of large-scale mining, it should be easy to see how the policy will unquestionably violate the rights of nature. In areas where the forests are home to native people it will also violate their rights. Add to this the fact that the government of the citizens revolution, so concerned about human and nature rights, will soon try to open up for petroleum exploration millions of hectares of pristine forested areas in the southern Amazonian region. Most of the forests are inhabited by native Shuar and Achcuar, as well millions of animals and plant species; including dozens of endangered ones.
Ecuador is one of the main promoters at an international level of sustainable measures for the environment, Mr. Albuja said, adding that the Government has put in place various measures to protect species and ecosystems in danger of extinction, reduce carbon emissions, and combat climate change.
This monumental b.s. is being followed up by a International Forum on nature rights in Quito next week hosted by the Ecuadorian government. One does wonder how deep and far can a government’s cynicism go.