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!

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