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Ecuadorians vote to halt oil drilling in biodiverse Amazonian national park

August 23, 2023

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Victoria Keichel

Katrina Lehmann-Grube

Marian Drew

Cormac Cullinan

In a historic decision, Ecuadorians voted on Sunday to stop the oil drilling of the protected area within Yasuní National Park in the Amazon.

On Sunday 20 August 2023, for the first time in history, every citizen of Ecuador had the opportunity to vote YES or NO to decide on oil exploitation in the ITT block in the Amazon rainforest's Yasuní National Park. The protected area is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, home to 610 bird species, 139 amphibian species and 121 reptile species. The area is also home to the Tagaeri and Taromenane tribes, who live in self-isolation.

WIth over 90% of the votes counted, more than 59% of Ecuadorians voted to block oil exploration in the area, sending a strong message to the world about the urgent need to make real decisions to stop the climate crises, and that Nature's rights must be upheld and protected.