4 Dec 2008

Good review in Library Journal in the US - the biggest library magazine!

Good news for the Yasuni Green Gold Book!. We get a good review in Library Journal in the US - the biggest library magazine. Hope that this help to spread the Yasuni word... Thanks a lot to all the people and organisations that makes Yasuni Green Gold Campaign real.

¨This book was written and published to help save Yasuní National Park in Ecuador's Amazon Basin from oil development. Currently, there is an intense struggle taking place between those trying to protect this unique rain forest and the corporations desiring to exploit its low-quality but abundant oil reserves. Yasuní, with more than two million acres, is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and home to three different indigenous peoples who live harmoniously and sustainably with their environment. Most of the book depicts the astounding biological and cultural diversity of the region through remarkable, full-color photographs. It also illustrates the devastation and pollution caused by oil development. Although the Ecuadorian government has protected this region in the past, it is now willing to suspend oil development only if the "international community" compensates Ecuador for its loss of oil revenue. While commending the government's desire to preserve the park, the Yasuní Green Gold campaign focuses on the need to save the region regardless of compensation. With its wonderful photographs and passionate writing, this inexpensive coffee-table book would be an excellent addition to both public and academic libraries, especially those with natural history or environmental collections.

—Ilse Heidmann, Washington State Lib., Olympia

You can find the original text here

20 Nov 2008

Radio Interview:The 300-350 Show: Ecuador.

We speak to Georgina Donati of the Yasuni Green Gold campaign and hear Naomi Klein ponder the wider significance of this proposal.

The 300-350 Show is named after what is now believed to the safe level in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This finding is based on the work of James Hansen and his team in a paper titled "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim." http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.1126

Author: www.climateradio.co.uk

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asks the British Government what they will do about the Yasuní

Recorded on the UK government website is:

Ecuador: Yasuni Rainforest Reserve
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

What support they intend to offer the Government of Ecuador in preserving the Yasuni rainforest reserve. [HL5494]

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Joan Ruddock met the Yasuni Green Gold Campaign last week. We are supportive of approaches to develop incentives to reduce emissions from both wholesale deforestation and more gradual damage. The UK has contributed £15 million to the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility which will assist developing countries in working out how they can participate in and benefit from evolving incentive mechanisms for avoided deforestation.

Yasuni Green Gold as part of the resist network

The actions and resistance of those in the Yasuni region have been recognised by the *Resist* movement, a movement connected with a new film by Gael García Bernal.

*Resist* is a quest for people whose actions are shifting our perspectives on the world, a search for people who are inspiring new ways of thinking, acting and being, who are instigating change from below.

Economic Apartheid is the dominant system. Instability is the new norm. Walls are built from within suburbia and across borders, to protect those who can afford to protect themselves, and to keep the displaced and the poor away. The 21st century is not looking healthy.

*Resist* explores the moment when people declare “there is a limit”. And after resistance, what comes next?

*Resist* is a way of looking at the world, a story which transforms the way you see yourself, your path in life and your own strength. It is a search for profound authentic freedom.

Tribal transitions: Yasuni to Tibet

SOAS's openair.fm have come together with Marketplace to bring us a whole day of fun, with money going towards the Yasuni Gren Gold Campaign

11 -13 Marketplace
W1 8AH


- Yasuni Green Gold ( www.yasunigreengold.org ) -
- Movimiento Ecuador UK (www.movimientoecuador.co.uk) -
:: Musicos Equatorianos en vivo con presentacion de instrumentos tradicionales :: 17.00 - 19.30
:: Yasuni Green Gold Campaign presentation:: 19.30 - 20.00
:: SOAS Tibet Society - :: Screening :: Himalaya :: 15.00 - 17.00 w/discussion
:: Face Painting :: All Day
:: T-shirt & Book Sale :: All Day
:: Photo Contest Exhibition:: All Day Winner Announced @ 20.00
- Openair.fm (www.openair.fm ) -
:: Cydetrack :: spinning global freshness - 20.00 - 21.00
:: Ed C :: Disco Funk Maestro - 21.00 - 22.00
:: Steve Rogers :: Legendary Dub Stepper - 22.00 - 23.00

Yasuni Green Gold wrkshop @ Shared Planet

This Sunday the 23rd Yasuní Green Gold will be holding a workshop at the People and Planet Shared Planet conference at the University of Birmingham. If you want to know more about the Yasuni Green Gold campaign come to the workshop, ask questions and get involved from 14.00-15.30

Click here to find out more information...

19 Nov 2008

Meeting with Moi

Last week Moi, a Waorani leader who has been fighting against the exploitation of Waorani land for decades, was in London promoting the Waorani Eco-Lodge as an alternative form of sustainable income for the region. Georgie went to meet him to see to talk about the Yasuni Green Gold campaign and get him on board. Moi already seemed to know a fair bit about the campaign from having talked to Marlon Santi from the CONAIE. He was enthusiastic about promoting the cause more throughout Europe and we planned to keep in touch and work closer together in the future.

18 Nov 2008

People and Planet get on board to help with the campaign

People & Planet, the largest student network in Britain which campaigns to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment has joined forces with the Yasuní Green Gold Campaign to help fight to save the Yasuní and protect its peoples.

The People & Planet network consists of groups at 63 UK universities and colleges and 74 People & Planet groups in sixth forms and further education colleges, plus many other individual supporters which are all supported by an office staff team.

The Yasuní Green Gold campaign is looking for an extra brain!

Interested in doing a fundraising and marketing internship with the campaign?

Job Description
We need someone to:

> Research into funding opportunities:grant making trusts, statutory and other funders.
> Compile and draft information for applications.
> Keep records of potential funders and application made.
> Help to promote Yasuni Green Gold products (on and off line)
> Liaise with suppliers, trade partners and Yasuni Green Gold european offices/partners to ensure that the Yasuni shop runs as efficiently as possible and is widely known
> Manage customers and supporter enquiries effectively
> Liaise with active supporters and co-oordinators to manage sales and other fundraising activities.
> Help develop new products.

Just as a reminder Yasuni Green Gold is:

a grassroots campaign which works in partnership with local and
indigenous leaders of the Ecuadorian Amazon to fight for their human
and environmental rights.The Yasuní support network of people and
organisations is growing day by day: We work closely with The local
government of Orellana (Ecuador) and New Internationalist in UK. We
have presence in 3 countries: Spain, Belgium and UK, but we are
developing partnership with organisations all over the world.
We think that Yasuní National Park is unique, we believe that human
life has no price and that a solution for the Yasuní could become a
model for other developing countries across the world, a way for
countries to be able to preserve their cultural and environmental
treasures without having to sacrifice economic development. And
importantly it could lead to way in the fight against climate change.
For more information please see www.yasunigreengold.org

Personal Specification
We need you to:

> Have excellent communication skills, both oral and written
> Be well organised, with an ability to plan and prioritise
> Enjoy being part of the team, but also able to work alone
> Able to cope with pressure and be happy to work out of hours in very busy periods
> Have a genuine interest in Yasuni Green Gold work and support for our aims.
> Previous experience desirable but not essential.

Terms and Conditions

> Hours of work: Flexible
> Location: London, Hammersmith
> Internship (Unpaid)

If you reckon you can both fulfill and enjoy fulfilling this role to a
high standard and wish to apply, please email your CV and a cover
letter to: info@yasunigreengold.org

13 Nov 2008

The CONAIE (The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) supports Yasuní Green Gold

The CONAIE (The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) assembled in special meeting in the city of Tena (Ecuador) on the 30th and 31st October, 2008 has resolved:

"Point 18: To support the international campaign YASUNÍ GREEN GOLD concerning the PIVA territories or Free Comunities that forbids the oil exploitation in the ITT area."

The CONAIE represents the 14 indigenous nationalities plus 18 comunities of Ecuador.
Marlon Santi, the CONAIE's president, took part on the presentation of Yasuní Green Gold in Barcelona, Spain, celebrated on 12th October.

Also, the assembly solved important points for the preservation of the biodiversity and the exercise of the rights of the indigenous people.

You can read a summnary of the resolutions. Click here

11 Nov 2008

Fundraising Fiesta @ Club4Climate¡ Saturday 22nd November

*Yasuní Green Gold** Fundraising Fiesta @* *Club Surya*

Get involved and ready to party to help the Yasuni people of Ecuador and their struggle to save the Ecuadorian Rainforest at the "world's first ecological club"

*Saturday 22nd November 7pm-3am £5 in advance; £7 on the door. buy here

Featuring live music from Brazilian act *Vendendo Peixe *playing the best in Samba de Raiz (Roots samba from Rio de Janeiro) and Chorinho led by outstanding mandolin player Gaio de Lima www.myspace.com/gaiobandolim

*Movimientos DJs Clem George and Cal Jader *
+ DJ Cydetrack (Open Air Radio)* > *Playing the freshest Latin & Global beats
+ From 7pm Documentary film screening about collective action in Mexico to combat environmental destruction >

CLUB SURYA 156 Pentonville Road London N1 9JL Tube/ Rail: Kings Cross / St Pancras

*"Yasuni Green Gold is a grassroots campaign which works in partnership with local and indigenous leaders of the Ecuadorian Amazon to fight for their human and environmental rights". www.yasunigreengold.org

Movimientos - Musica Mestiza. Documentary Film. Latin culture. www.movimientos.org.uk www.myspace.com/movimientos movimientosuk@gmail.com

Buy here advanced tickets

Action Alert: Write to your MP

If you live in the UK, your MP can put vital pressure on the UK government to act. You can ask them to sign an Early Day Motion (a parliamentary petition) supporting our campaign and to write to both Douglas Alexander MP, Secretary of State for International Development and Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

If you live in any other country, please writte to your representatives.

Please email them soon. There are just weeks left now before the Ecuadorian government's proposal to save the park expires.

Click here to take action

Yasuni needs you¡

10 Nov 2008

Yasuní Green Gold goes to the European Parliament and the European Commission

In November, the Yasuní Green Gold team kept travelling abroad and adding people and organizations to the fight for the protection of the Yasuní. So we arrived to Belgium to introduce the current situation and the activities that the campaign carries out. There we found the warm support of some other organizations also committed with this struggle, such as 11.11.11., Broederlijk Delen and VODO. 

3rd November we celebrated with them and with the Mo*magazine a discussion in which the Georgina and GInes,of the Yasuní Green Gold campaign, and the Embassy of Ecuador took part. There we presented to the audience the current situation of the region of Yasuní and the strong and weak points of the official Ecuadorian Government's proposal to keep the oil underground.

The wenesday 5th Gines was invited to go to a private event of the Heinrich Boll Foundation. This event works with special rules. Only few people can assist and only by invitation. Unfourtunately, Gines cant say what happen in the event, but you can read more about that in the Heinrich Boll Foundation Website cliking here.

We also met some political representatives at the European Parliament. We discussed for a long time about the region of Yasuní and the role that European countries may play to defeat these areas of unique biological, ecological and cultural importance. In these meetings we could find people like Gabriela Cretu, vice-president of the Delegation for the relations with the countries of the Andean Community. Finally, we got the commitment of different well-known politicians, so now we keep on working to get and official answer from the European Parliament and the Ecuadorian Government.

12th November we had the opportunity to attend the presentation of the official ITT proposal that the Ecuadorian Government presented through the Ambassador Francisco Carrión at the European Parliament. During this meeting the interest of the international community to support the proposal was confirmed, but also the lack of proposal development that the Ecuadorian Government has and the necessity to improve their plans to defeat Yasuní's incredible biodiversity and its inhabitants. Francisco Carrión and his assistant Carlos Larrea stated to be working to develop mechanisms that guarantee that the exploitations of the region don't continue. They said that the Belgium ambassor will send more information...

Guillermo Corral
Yasuni Green Gold Belgium

31 Oct 2008

Anita’s visit puts Yasuní on the map

Phew. It’s the end of our Grand Launch Week for the Yasuní campaign, and I think we’ve really got somewhere. Anita Rivas, the mayor of Orellana in the Yasuní region, arrived in the UK last weekend. In the space of just five days, and with a little help from her friends, she has managed to put Yasuní on the agendas of British MPs, government officials and even a minister.

Her message was simple but powerful. ‘The biggest issue today is climate change. By helping Yasuní, you will be helping the world.’ Her aim was to persuade the British Government to support Ecuador’s proposal to leave the oil in the ground and preserve the extraordinary Yasuní rainforest. But most importantly, she was here to ensure that the rights and needs of local and indigenous people are taken into account in the process.

The week has been a whirl of lobbying, meetings and interviews. We’re all exhausted - though Anita doesn’t have time to be, she’s gone to Luxumbourg for the day to address local governments before heading down to Spain for another week’s of campaigning. But I think it’s been a storming success.

It began on Monday with a meeting with officials from three different government departments working on forests and climate change. They did not know about the proposal (despite it having been presented to the UN and the EU). So our crack campaign team, comprising Anita, Georgie and Ginés from the Yasuni Green Gold campaign, and Richard and I from NI, spent the rest of the week trying to put it on the Government’s agenda.

Highlights included:
- A launch event, attended by 200 people including experts on Ecuador, forests, climate change and indigenous people. Speakers included Anita, the deputy Ambassador of Ecuador, and environmentalist Tony Juniper.
- Agreement from the Ecuadorian Embassy that they will formally approach the British Government with the proposal in the next few weeks.
- A promise from Steve Webb, Lib Dem spokesperson on energy and climate change, to meet with the Ecuadorian Ambassador about improving the proposal by allowing local people to participate in developing it.
- Going into Waterstones with Georgie, Gines and Anita, to find copies of the Yasuní Green Gold book on the shelves! (See photo below).
- A session in the House of Commons, chaired by Colin Challen MP who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Climate Change. It was attended by MPs, Lords and a Baroness. The campaign received enthusiastic support and offers of help from two other APPGs.
- Colin Challen also tabled an Early Day Motion - which is like a petition for MPs to sign - in full support of the Yasuní Green Gold campaign. If you live in Britain, get in touch with your MP and ask them to sign EDM 2192!

It all culminated yesterday in a really positive meeting with new Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Joan Ruddock. She told us that ‘the Government is in favour of such initiatives - our sympathies and goodwill are there.’ It was clear that the door is open. As soon as the Ecuadorian embassy contacts her, she will begin to consider whether Britain can help make the plan happen.

So watch this space…

I’m worried though. It’s easy to agree that the oil should stay in the ground in principle. The controversy begins with discussions about where the money is going to come from.

There’s a real risk that Yasuní will be seized upon by carbon trading firms intent on turning it into a giant carbon offset, and the once visionary scheme will lose its integrity, its potential for involving and benefiting local people, and any contribution it might make to overall global carbon emissions reductions. Carbon trading lobbyists from three different banks turned up to the Yasuní Parliamentary event to express their enthusiasm for getting involved, and wanting to know who to lobby. Next week a report commissioned by the British Government will come out strongly in favour of financing forest preservation through the international carbon markets.

So, not content with allowing bankers to screw up our economy, we’re now going to put them in charge of solving climate change???? Whatever planet these people are on, it’s not going to last much longer at this rate.

The Yasuní campaign is about more than just finding the money to preserve the forest. It’s about doing so in the right way. A way that is fair, and effective, and will benefit the local people who live there over the long term. As Anita put it:

‘Carbon trading is a weak way of dealing with this problem - it’s like putting the wrong sort of medicine in your body. This is about the larger countries needing to recognize that smaller countries like Ecuador are giving the world a lot in terms of ecology. They need to start giving something back; to change their exploitative attitude and start paying for what they are getting. This why the international campaign to save Yasuní is so important. There will be grave consequences for the world if it is not preserved.’

Also published in the NI Yasuni blog

The Independent on the Yasuni Green Gold book

Go here to check it out

A very quick summery of what went down in Spain...

Sunday: We were in Tarragona with Ali Supay, Marlon Santi president of CONAIE and Jose Proaño Ecuadorian anthropologist and activist. We all met in Tarragona with local organisations there such as Repsol Mata, to talk about the different issues in the Yasuni and for the indigenous people of the region.

Monday: Morning we do a radio interview in Altafulle and head off to Barcelona to the office of I-With where Gines and Anita are immediately thrust onto the phone to do more interviews.

Tuesday: We have the presentation of the book in Barcelona in the UOC in the morning after yet more radio interviews. Present are various organisations with which we have been working in Barcelona such as Ideatik, Eutopia, Consultants without boarders and I-with as well as a representative from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Marlon, Jose and other groups.
From here we sped off to Girona where we had another presentation at the University of Girona where we are met by Engineers without Borders, already familiar with the situation in the Yasuni and enthusiastic to help where they can.

Wednesday: We were off bright and early to Madrid where we have a press conference at the Circulo de Bellas Artes. Again we are met by a representative of the Ecuadorian Embassy and are thrilled when El Mundo, the most read newspaper in Spain, published a huge feature length article about the Yasuni and the campaign following the meeting.

Gines and Anita then whizz off to some more radio interviews and then a meeting with the Department for International Development…

That evening we head off to Seville!

Thursday: Early that morning we are picked up and taken to Cadiz where we are bundled into the university press room to sign contracts of co-operation. We then go to the local government where we are given the grand tour… That evening we go back to the university to give another presentation of the campaign and book.

Friday: Is off to the Diputación de Cordoba, who are also very involved in the region and keen to help.

28 Oct 2008

Tony Juniper talks about the Yasuni

Tony Juniper talks at the yasuni green gold launch event at amnesty about why the Yasuni is important in relation to Current International enviromenal talks.

14 Oct 2008

Thursday, Joan Ruddock and Amnesty International

Thursday afternoon we head off once again to Westminister to meet with Joan Ruddock from the Depatment for Energy and Climate Change. She has managed to squeeze us in between the madness of the creation of this new department. We are told by her PA that she usually does not have a moment to spare but had managed to find a space for us as she was so interested in the campaign. We filled Joan in on the campaign quickly and Anita told her about how her and Lupe had lead a people´s revolution in Orellana demanding that their basic rights be met. She was very supportive of the Yasuni Green Gold Camapign, she agreed with us that the ITT proposal was important and that the British government would support it in principal. She also agreed that inorder to get the proposal through there needed to be the clarification and gaurentees the campaign asked for and that when the proposal is presented to her she would relay these points. She asked us to keep her updated on the status of the proposal and progress of the campaign. Another good result!

After this we sped off to Amnesty International. Anita was thrilled for the chance to thank in person the organisation that had played such a big part in releasing her friend and fellow activist Guadalupe Llori. They were also excitied to meet Anita and hear all about her human rights work.

10 Oct 2008

John Vidal from The Guardian names Anita woman of the week

John Vidal from The Guardian writes:

"Prize for the most impressive woman in Britain this week could go to Anita Rivas, an inspirational Ecuadorean who was in London to see the government and fight for the preservation of the extraordinarily rich Yasuní national park. This Amazonian treasure should be protected, but Argentine, French and local oil companies have started drilling, and a worldwide campign against them has started. "If we keep the oil below the ground, not only will we conserve an enormously diverse area, home to many indigenous people, but also we will become a universal symbol that a new world is possible," said Anita. Shame that the new Department of Energy and Climate Change could not find time to see her."

The same day we contacted the new Department of Energy and Climate Change only to find that Joan Ruddock, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, had made time to see us the next day....!

Yasuní Green Gold Early Day Motion 2192


Challen, Colin
"That this House welcomes the proposal of the Ecuadorian government to preserve the Yasuní forest by asking the international community to pay for not exploiting the oil reserves which lie underneath it; but believes that the proposal must include an unconditional, non-reversible commitment from the Ecuadorian government to preserve Yasuní and protect the human rights of its people and must include an unlimited extension of the time given to reach agreement on how to do this and an international process led by the Ecuadorian Government, with full participation from local and indigenous groups in the region, to create a clear, coherent and fully representative proposal for securing a long-term sustainable future for Yasuní; believes that this process should work in partnership with supportive non-governmental organisations and governments, and must also include a further assurance that any financial support from governments will come through an open, democratic and accountable process, and will not involve carbon trading, World Bank funding or debt cancellation schemes, which have proved ineffective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and damaging to local people's rights around the world; and finally considers that the proposal must include an assurance that any other projects which may have a negative impact on the area will not be allowed to go ahead."

So far we have 16 signatures - get your MPs on board!

Wednesday: a Yasuní Green Gold meeting at the House of Commons

Colin Challen kindly set up a meeting for us in the House of Commons. His introduction showed a clear understanding of the concerns of the campaign and set us up well to go on and talk in more detail. Colin has also started an Early-Day-Motion (see next blog entry) a petition outlining the campaign asks for MPs to sign - So get your MP to sign!
Colin also offered to write to ministers and departments and most importantly to ask a question about the Yasuní to Gordon Brown at Prime Ministers question time!

Also excited and willing to lend a hand was Baroness Hooper who is very interested in both Ecuador and environmental issues. We were thrilled that Martin Horwood the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples which works alongside Survival International was also behind the campaign saying he thought it was great in bringing together all the issues and would help in whatever way he could.

Good result!

Tuesday with Simon Webb the environmental adviser to the Liberal Democrats

Tuesday we were a little more together, we now had well planned out how we were going to construct the meetings, what we were going to say and what we were asking for. Simon was great he said he would invite the Ambassador in the present the proposal and that he would put forward the campaign concerns, guarantees for the Yasuni and it people and a clear idea as to where the money would go and an unlimited time in which to work these things out.

The Guardian reaction to the Launch..

Haroon Siddique from That Guardian newspaper was present on Monday night, read his review of the evening here

Monday Evening – Campaign and Book launch in Amnesty UK

We were so pleased to have the Ecuadorian Ambassador’s second in command (the Ambassador was not in the country), Anita (mayor of Orellana), Ginés and Tony Juniper speaking at the event. We also had a special message from Penti, a Waorani leader in the Yasuní, who had been unable to attend the event in person but instead sent a powerful speech.

The Embassy representative began by presenting the national proposal followed by Anita who gave an emotional speech about growing up in Coca, her fight for the human rights of her people and the hope that they all had that the international community would help the oil to be kept in the ground. She also gave a special thanks to Amnesty who had been so instrumental in fighting for the release of fellow human rights activist, leader and friend, Guadalupe Llori who had been wrongfully imprisoned for a year.

Ginés Haro, Co-director of the Yasuni green Gold Campaign, then followed up Anita’s message with the memory that when he left Orellana Anita had said to him “don’t forget us”. He had never been able to and hoped that those present would not forget the Yasuní and would work with the campaign to fight for its preservation and the rights of it’s inhabitants.

Tony Juniper, previous leader of FoE Interntional, now part of the Princes Trust finished off the speeches with a reflection on the international Environmental context, the move into the post-Kyoto era and the possibilities for the Yasuní.

Then followed an interesting set of comments from the audience. Some interesting points were brought up in during the discussion things such as the contradictions in the governments behaviour, plans and statements that seem to contradict attempts to be progressive in the human and environmental rights particularly the people of the Oriente. This is so true, there are so many issues which complicate the situation as you can see on the campaign page where we talk about national parallel projects and legislation which is at odds with the ITT proposal.

However the campaign believes that keeping a dialogue open with the national government and supporting positive actions is crucial. Although we need to be open and critical, we also need to make sure we properly support the positive things coming out of the government such as this initiative. There are problems with it and these need to be addressed, however such huge proposals are very rarely perfect first time round and need to be worked on with all the concerned parties.

If we only criticise and do not work on the positive aspects the only people who benefit are the oil companies. They have so far been taking advantage of the division and differences between people so it is important that we come together on the ground that we have in common – that is to preserve the Yasuni and its people.

Another point was that the ITT is not the Yasuní. This is very true, the Yasuní is much bigger than just this reserve and other parts of the Yasuní are already being or have already been exploited for oil. However this block is the furthest into the Yasuní that the oil companies have been – it is right in the heart of the park and if it goes ahead it will open up the whole area to logging and contamination – the people of the Yasuní will have no where left to go that is safe.

The ITT block is symbolic in saying the buck stops here, oil companies can go no further, there are more important things. As Anita said, we have to start putting life before oil.

Monday morning… meeting at Dfid (UK Department for International Development)

So we all piled into the meeting room at Dfid taking a pace around the huge rectangular table. We were greeted by John Hudson, Senior Forestry Adviser, Dr Amy Sullivan from the Climate and Environment Group and a representative from the Foreign Office. Anita started off by telling them all about what was happening in Orellana to her people and to the region, we were slightly taken aback (but not completely put off) when we were told that a plea for bio-diversity and indigenous people was 10 years too late, that what they were now interested in was Climate Change. Anita told them about how important these issues were to climate change but that also her people and the bio-diversity of the region had to be a priority, she was not prepared to sell them on the market.

We came to what we wanted which was for them to respond to the Ecuadorian government’s proposal officially with initial support but with the improvements laid out on our campaign page.

They said that they were unable to response as they do not believe they have been officially invited by the Ecuadorian government to participate… so our first mission on hearing such news was make sure the Ambassador be invited to present the proposal…

5 Oct 2008

Anita arrives in London...

...7.30am we are waiting nervously at the airport waiting for Anita, did she make it through security okay? Perhaps she got lost coming through baggage reclaim? Maybe she didn't make the plane where she had to change in Amsterdam? Finally we see her and she rushes towards us, a look of relief on her face. She tells us how she had forgotten to ask us for the address of where she was staying whilst in London and just kept repeating to security that she was staying with Gines Haro - they were not very impressed. Finally she whipped out a copy of the NI and showed them her picture and told them she was a mayor from the Amazon and had come to ask for help from the government to protect her people. "They all looked so suprised!" she laughed.

We bundle her into taxi and rush off to our first appointment, we are relieved to see that despite the 16 hours journey and complete culture shock, Anita is perky and ready for an interview with the Telegraph.

2 Oct 2008

Yasuni Events - some dates for the diary!

We have a busy busy few weeks ahead of us..

On Monday the 6th of October Anita Rivas, mayor of the Yasuní region (Orellana) will be in the UK to present the issues currently facing the region at the Yasuni Green Gold launch. The event will be held at the Amnesty Human Rights centre in east London and will be looking forward to the attendence of people such as Tony Juniper, the Ecuadorian vice-ambassador and organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

That morning we will also be having a meeting with DFID, the UK department for international development, and the environmental adviser to Gordon Brown..

On Tuesday we will be meeting with Steve Webb the Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs with a possible showing from Nick Clegg...?

On Wednesday we will be holding a parliamentary meeting and we currently have Tom, who is helping out in the office, trying to get as many MPs as possible to that meeting.

Then Friday morning Anita and Ginés will shoot off to Luxembourg where they have been invited to talk at the Climate Alliance of European Cities with the Indigenous Rainforest Peoples!

On Saturday we head off to Spain with Anita where we'll be doing presentations in Barcelona, Madrid, Cadiz and Cordoba - if you want to come along drop us a line and we'll let you know where to go..

What has Yasuni Green Gold been up to....?

Since we got the book out of the way the Yasuni Green Gold team has been hard at work - doing what you cry?!

Well for a start we have been preparing this lovely new website with a lot of help from our friends...There is still a lot of work to do we know, lots of things missing; lists, letters, banners, downloads, flyers the list goes on! But we are getting there bit by bit so bare with us, the site is improving daily! If you have anything you can help with, maybe you have sent a letter to a minister and we can put it up as an example to help others - let us know!

We've been going round doing talks about the Yasuní and setting up local groups, these are crucial in helping spread the word and creating a Yasuní support network. If you want to create a Yasuní group near you, drop us a line and we'll do what we can to help.

We've been lobbying politicians and NGOs on the phone and by sending them books, thanks to all those kind 'donate a book' contributions to get them on board and start campaigning about the Yasuní.

The New Internationalist also took on this initiative and asked its readers, after finishing with their Yasuni magazine, to put it back in it's envelope and send it on a decision-maker.

So, what is all this lobbying in aid of…..?

We are trying to draw as many groups as possible together to campaign on the Yasuni – this is currently a three pronged attack!

First prong is an NGO sign-on statement, which is almost finished, professing the importance of the Yasuni, its people and what must happen next. You will hopefully be able to view this online very soon!

Second prong is a petition that everyone can stick their name down on in support for the Yasuní and its people.

And the third prong is parliamentary. This is currently being focused on the UK government but hopefully with a bit more support we can get it going around the world. We have an early-day-motion starting. This is like a petition that MPs sign to say something is important to them, if enough MPs sign it – they could discuss the issue in parliament. To push this motion along we have organised a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday in the house of commons with Anita the mayor of the Yasuní region of Orellana and someone from the campaign introducing the issues and then a discussion of how the UK government can be involved to follow....

21 Sep 2008

New Internationalist Yasuni Green Gold October Update

A decent proposal

The proposal set out by President Rafael Correa of Ecuador in May last year to preserve the Yasuní was a bold one, with inspiring principles behind it. For the first time a national government had sought international financial support to keep its oil underground: it had the potential to be revolutionary. If successful, it could provide a model for other developing nations across the world to save their own environmental and cultural treasures without having to sacrifice economic development.

However, there were also problems with Correa's proposal to save this pristine patch of Amazon. It did not clearly guarantee the preservation of the Yasuní or respect the human rights of the people of the region, and excluded them from participating in the decisions that would drastically affect their lives. It set a time limit for financial pledges and left open the possibility that, even if funds were successfully raised from the international community, they could be repaid by the Ecuadorian Government and the half-a-billion barrels of oil under the Yasuní exploited after all.

Since the proposal was made there have been some positive advances. such as the Progressive environmental and human rights articles proposed for the country’s new Constitution. Two extensions have been made to the initial deadline for international support. But,the weaknesses in the proposal have still not been addressed. Contradictory proposals and policies have emerged, such as the granting of a licence to drill in another part of the Yasuní, and the promotion of the 'Manta-Manaus corridor' – a plan to convert the River Napo into a motorway for ships trading between Brazil and China.

On a local level, many things have not changed. Huge oil spills continue, while companies such as Repsol YPF refuse to take responsibility. Inside the Yasuní, local communities, such as the Dayuma, continue to be repressed and those speaking out against the multinational companies are arrested. The revolutionary aspects of the proposal are getting lost - and it is shifting more and more into line with current free-market ideas, like carbon trading and ‘debt-for-nature-swaps’ - schemes that have already proven ineffective and immoral.

To get this proposal right, we need to get the principles right. The Yasuní Green Gold Campaign believes that the biosphere reserve is unique and that human life has no price. Paying for the Yasuní to remain unexploited undermines the human rights of those who live within the zone, as well as other national and international environmental laws that supposedly protect the park already. Certainly, Ecuador should be given financial help to support the development of alternative economic activities, helping the country preserve its forests and escape oil dependency. This is not charity; it is necessary for the whole world in order to prevent climate change. Certainly, the Yasuní should be protected because of its unique biological, ecological and cultural importance. But these are separate issues. It is wrong to use the preservation of the Yasuní and the lives of people as bargaining chips, attempting to put a price on things which are priceless.

Yasuní Green Gold wants to encourage and support Ecuador's Government to stay true to developing a bold proposal that does not sell off the Yasuní or its people for carbon credits or use them to cancel the national debt. We want them to remain committed to preserving the Yasuní and protecting its inhabitants, with no deadlines and no conditions. By creating an ‘untouchable zone’ and signing up to human rights laws, that is what they have already said they would do.

This is hard work for a country so dependent on oil, and it is the responsibility of the international community to support them in making the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy, especially because of the importance of such a move in preventing global climate change. Local and indigenous people must be actively involved in the development of such projects in the Yasuní region if they are to be successful. If all this were to happen, then the rescue of Yasuní could go down in history as a revolutionary step along the path to climate justice.

Yasuni Green Gold

Also published on www.newint.org

17 Sep 2008

Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph puts the Yasuni Campaign on their website.

You can see here

10 Sep 2008


"Música Mestiza. Documentary films. Latin Culture"

Thursday 2th October

Ecuador and Yasuni Green Gold special with documentary films and speakers

Films upstairs from 7pm
+ Speakers from Yasuni Green Gold and book presentation.

Music Downstairs

All the freshest old school and contemporary dancefloor Latin beats with Movimientos DJs Cal Jader, Pablo N, Clem George, live percussion & special guests

Entry: Donations before 9pm / £3 after
Salmon and Compass
58 Penton Street (Corner of Chapel Market), N1 9PZ (Angel tube/Northern Line)

4 Sep 2008

An interesting video post in the BBC website (in spanish /en español)

I link you a video (in spanihs) post in the BBC that i found interesting. Hope this help you to know more about the Yasuni and the problems/complexity down there

Click Here to see the video

And remember, Yasuni is Green Gold!

3 Sep 2008

Presentation publish in September´s New Internationalist magazine

Hey! This is Georgie and Ginés, we co-ordinate Yasuní Green Gold, an international campaign created with the support of the local government and people of Orellana, in the Yasuní region.

The local people and leaders, exhausted by fighting daily for their rights and usually getting nowhere, decided to reach out to the international community as a way to get their voices heard. Yasuní Green Gold was entrusted to carry their voices to your ears and their struggles to your attention.

We got involved with the Yasuní when Ginés went to work with the local government of Orellana for a year, collaborating with local people to help them define their needs and priorities. In the summer of 2007 Georgie also joined Ginés for a few months working with these local projects.

It was while we were living in Coca that we jointly decided, with the local leaders and people, to use photographs taken for the promotional purposes of the local government as a means of introducing more people to the area and issues.

We wanted to show how much more there was to the region than just oil – to focus instead on its unique biological importance and the incredible people that live there. To then develop an international movement of people (yes that means you!) and organisations who also believe that Yasuní is Green Gold and who want to support the local government and people of the Yasuní in making sure it remains untouched.

We are sure that as people learn of its beauty and its troubles they will be inspired, just as we were, to help save it. If we act together and create a united front we can achieve our goals and save the Yasuní and its people now and for the future. The Yasuní and its people’s lives have no price, the oil must not be exploited.

Will you join us?

1 Sep 2008

Latest on the Yasuní campaign.

Latest on the Yasuní campaign
Submitted by Jess Worth on August 19, 2008 - 2:53pm.
New Internationalist.

Since we published the 'Viva Yasuní: Life vs Big Oil' magazine two
months ago, the NI has done something we haven't done for a very long
time. We have thrown ourselves head-first into running a campaign.

It crept up on us gradually: first Georgie and Ginés from Yasuní Green Gold approached us with the stunning photos which you will soon
be able to see in our Yasuní Green Gold book. Then the editors
dropped everything to produce in (almost) record time a special
magazine about the people of Yasuní and the horrible situation
they find themselves in: their homes and livelihoods perched atop a
billion barrels of oil, with the oil companies clamouring to start

Having researched the situation, and discovered such beauty in this pristine
patch of Amazon rainforest, and such injustice in the way it is about
to be destroyed, we felt we couldn't leave it there. The people of
Yasuní have asked the international community for our help.
It's our responsibility to give it.

So now the NI office has been transformed into the Yasuní Green
Gold international campaign headquarters (it's not as grand as it
sounds!) Ginés and Georgie have moved to Oxford to work with
us for a while, and we are busily organising our grand launch event
in London on 6th October. We are working out a strategy for putting pressure on the wavering Ecuadorian Government to honour their initial pledge to find
a way of saving Yasuní from an oily fate – and pondering how
on earth to persuade the British Government to do the right thing for
once. We are ringing up NGOs and selected bigwigs to persuade them to
get involved in the campaign, and Ginés and Georgie are
putting together their whizzy new website, organizing volunteers
and co-ordinating actions in Spain and elsewhere.

We ran a workshop a couple of weeks ago at the Camp for Climate Action which was attended by Ecuadorian and Brazilian activists amongst others. At that point I realised what a buzz there is about this campaign - it's really captured peoples' imagination. Hell, the band playing that night even stopped their set to encourage everyone in the audience to get involved in saving Yasuní! We're increasingly getting the feeling this could get huge...

We are thrilled that Anita Rivas, the inspirational mayor of Orellana in
the Yasuní region who so kindly allowed us to use the photos
for the book will be coming over to speak at the launch, and hope we
can generate enough publicity for her voice to be heard by the
people who need to hear it.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the campaign. If
you want to be sent latest news and campaign actions as they occur,
please sign up to the NI email list.

In the meantime, if you haven't already donated a book, please do.

Viva Yasuní!

30 Aug 2008

Yasuni: Rain Forest Tribesmen Just Want to Be Left Alone

To know more about the non contact tribus in Yasuni and whats going on there.

Postcard from Yasuni
Rain Forest Tribesmen Just Want to Be
Left Alone
Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008 By STEFAN KUFFNER

Nine ironwood spears protruded from the lifeless body of Luis Castellanos when it was found in March, near a jungle road. Castellanos, 37, was the third poacher of rare woods murdered in this remote patch of eastern Ecuador since 2005. And the prime suspects in the killings, say officials, are the ferocious warriors of the Tagaeri and Taromenani tribes — primitive and virtually unknown groups who cling to their Stone Age lifestyles deep in the Amazon rain forest, and appear determined to remain "uncontacted" by modern civilization.....

Click below to read the whole article.


Join our facebook network!


30 Jul 2008

Yasuni se mueve

¡Puedes leer en español abajo!

Hello everyone!

* Yasuní Green Gold is getting it's booty into motion! This August the campaign will be really building momentum and generally shouting out about the Yasuní.
* Climate Camp UK is the next stop (http://www.climatecamp.org.uk) YGG will be doing its thing in the Oxford neighborhood tent on tuesday wed
and thur...
* We'll be joining the Latin American Solidarity in the International tent on Wed which begins at 1.30.
Then our delightful selves will be holding a YGG wrkshop @ Oxford tent at 4.30 on Thur..
* If you can't come to either of these just come down to the Oxford tent on another day for a chat..
* We are looking forward to meeting all of you lovely people already supporting the Yasuní, and hopefully more new people! - So come down, hoist you tent and get stuck in...although hopefully not actually stuck in - fingers crossed for a sunny week!

p.s...drop us a wall post if you are interested in helping out or if you are gonna be there..


Hola a todos!

¡Yasuni Oro Verde está moviéndose!.

En agosto vamos a empezar a nuestras actividades para Salvar el Yasuní. Hasta ahora hemos estado sentando las bases de nuestra Campaña pero ya toca moverse.
La semana que viene estaremos hablando del YAsuní y ampliando los apoyos en Climate Camp en Inglaterra (www.climatecamp.org.uk) .Exactamente en el puesto de "Oxford neighborhood)

Estaremos con el Movimiento de Solidaridad por America Latina el miércoles y tendremos nuestra propia presentación el jueves.

Si te apetece pasar una buena semana no lo dudes!.

Por otro lado estamos organizando las actividades para España. Ya se están formando grupos locales en Barcelona, Galicia, Cádiz, Granada y Sevilla.
La intención de estos grupos es de apoyar a Salvar el YAsuní en estas ciudades. Si te apetece echar un cable escríbenos. Tal vez quieres empezar un grupo local en tu localidad?

Salvemos el Yasuní!