Gaia and the African Biodiversity Network call on Judge in Ecuadorian court case to protect the Rights of Nature. Show your solidarity with the communities and organisations who are filing a lawsuit in Ecuador to stop open cast mining from destroying the Ecuadorian Amazon. Take action by writing a letter to the Ecuadorian Judge Paul Narvaez calling for a stop to the proposed open pit mining. Share the news far and wide with your networks.

Urgent actions:

1) Write a letter to the Ecuadorian Judge Paul Narvaez calling for a stop to the violation of the Rights of Nature by the proposed open pit mining. Visit the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature website for more information. See below for Gaia and the African Biodiversity Network’s letter to the Judge.

2) Share the news far and wide with your networks.


The Condor Highland in South-eastern Ecuadorian Amazon, which is abundant in biodiversity and life, is threatened by copper mining.

The open pit mine – Mirador – is the first of a potential 6 mines which has been granted a license even though socio-environmental studies show irreversible impacts on biodiversity and water.

If the mine goes ahead the present and future generations will inherit toxic rivers, extinct wildlife, degraded Sacred Natural Sites, and a destroyed culture and spirituality of indigenous peoples who have been living in the territory for thousands of years.

In response, local communities and environmental and human rights organisations in Condor are filing a lawsuit under the Ecuadorian Constitution 2008, arguing that mining will violate the Rights of Nature and of communities. This Constitution was the first in the world to recognise the Rights of Nature to exist and fulfil her evolutionary cycles.

For more information see:

In Spanish –

Letter from the Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network

Dear Judge Paul Narvaez

The Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network urge you in the forthcoming court case to uphold the Rights of Nature and human rights, as recognised and protected under the Ecuadorian Constitution 2008.

We work with indigenous and local communities who are defending their ecosystems, communities and sacred territories from destruction by mining. Our recent Report – Opening Pandora’s Box explains the sheer scale, acceleration and expansion of the extractive industry and how this is a major driver of land grabbing globally. This now poses a significant threat to the world’s indigenous communities, farmers and local food production systems, as well as to precious water, forests, biodiversity, critical ecosystems and climate. Our generation has a responsibility to say: Yes to Life; No to Mining‘.

We are deeply concerned that if mining is allowed in the Condor Highland it will destroy the unique and abundant biodiversity and ecosystems, pollute the river systems, and destroy the culture and spirituality of indigenous peoples who have been living in the territory for thousands of years. What toxic wasteland are we leaving for future generations?

Even the Environmental Impact Assessment by Walsh Consultant, hired by Ecuacorrientes (ECSA) reveals that species of amphibians and reptiles, endemic from the zone, could become extinct since the fragile habitats which their life depends on will be completely destroyed by the mining. Further, that the water sources and aquifers, upon which biodiversity and communities depend, will be polluted. We are concerned that despite this report the Environmental License was granted.

Mining will violate the Rights of Nature which Ecuador has a legal obligation under Articles 71 – 73 of the Ecuadorian Constitution to protect. Human rights such as the Ecuadorian population’s right, under Article 14 of the Constitution, to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment will also be infringed. If this mining proceeds Ecuador could also be in violation of its international legal obligations to protect the rights of indigenous communities and conserve biodiversity, particularly under the ILO 169 and Convention on Biological Diversity which Ecuador has ratified. In addition, Ecuador’s commitment to implementing the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth would be undermined.

We are all interconnected. Mining in Ecuador will have repercussions on the whole Earth which is the support system for all life. There is only one planet Earth to live on so we must live within Earth’s limits. Communities across the world, who are resisting destruction of their sacred territories by extractive industries, are warning that without water there will be no life’.

As Dzomo la Mupo (Mouth and Voice of the Earth), Custodians of the network of Sacred Natural Sites in Venda, South Africa explain:

“Minerals and metals are the heart of the Earth. They are there for a reason. If we remove the minerals and materials like coal or gold, it is like removing a person’s heart. Our Zwifho, our sacred sites, they will die if minerals or metals are removed. Their life force will be drained. If we do this we will kill Mupo, our Mother Earth.” 

The world will be watching, and is looking to Ecuador for leadership in our collective responsibility to protect Earth for present and future generations, and to stop this potential ‘Ecocide’.

With your support, this case can set a precedent for respecting the rights of all life – humans and the wider Earth Community. By upholding the Rights of Nature you will be contributing to a global movement which is developing and practicing ‘Earth Jurisprudence’ or ‘Earth Law’ which promotes the health and integrity of the whole Earth Community.

We trust you will honour your responsibilities to uphold and protect the Rights of Pachamama, Nature, for present and future generations of all life, as enshrined in the Ecuadorian Constitution.

Yours sincerely

Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network