The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve is the most biodiverse place in the world. Located in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, the Yasuní is home to contacted indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples in isolation. On 20 August, the citizens of Ecuador can make history. It will be the first time that a country can speak out against oil exploitation in a referendum. If Ecuadorians vote to end oil production in Block 43 in the Yasuní, they can save this important area.
A success of the „Yes to Yasuní“ is the first step towards ending global dependence on fossil fuels. We spoke to Eduardo Pichilingue Ramos in the run-up to this crucial moment for defending the rights of nature and indigenous peoples. He is an ecologist, coordinator of the Cuencas Sagradas initiative and founding member of the Yasunidos, a civil society collective that has been defending the Yasuní for almost ten years. He has been working in Ecuador’s Amazon region for more than 20 years.
Interview and translations: Christina Korak
Speakers: Christina Korak, Paul O’Shea, Walther Moser
Editing: Walther Moser
Picture: Waori Guimo is standing in front of a very old tree in the Yasuní. On one square-kolimeter in the Yasuní there are more different plants and trees than in the whole US and Canada combined.