For a backgrounder on Encana in Ecuador, click here

A GlobalAware Slideshow on the OCP and Encana.

The full story from a Canadian angle

Canada's EthicalFunds company has upwards of 30 million dollars invested in EnCana URGENT ACTION


Over the past 30 years, oil exploitation in Ecuador has had devastating environmental and social impacts, and has contributed to the near-extinction of several indigenous groups. More than double the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez has been spilled in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

A new pipeline under construction, called the OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados, Heavy Crude Pipeline), would transport heavy crude from Ecuador's biodiversity rich Amazon rainforest region to the Pacific Coast. The pipeline route cuts through seven legally protected national parks and reserves, including a World Bank financed biodiversity project. In order to fill the OCP, oil production is expected to double in Ecuador, with tremendous impacts in indigenous peoples and intact forests in the Amazon rainforest as well as along the 500 kilometre-long pipeline corridor to the sea.

The Pipeline consortium is comprised of seven foreign oil companies. Calgary-based Encana is the largest shareholder, with 31.4% ownership, and also holds the Presidency of the OCP consortium.

Due to the reasons listed below, the Toronto Environmental Alliance is launching a campaign to influence Encana regarding its involvement in the Ecuadorian oil industry. Encana must be held accountable for the social and environmental irresponsibility it has demonstrated in Ecuador and must be forced to address the impacts of its activities.

We are asking for Encana to:
1) Cease construction of the pipeline until the social and environmental concerns of affected communities are addressed, and to their satisfaction.
2) Respect the rights of indigenous groups who oppose oil development on their land.

The reasons for these demands are as follows:

· An independent report of Dr. Robert Goodland, former official at the World Bank (WB) for 25 years and author of most of the WB's main environmental and social policies documents evidence of the OCP's non-compliance of applicable WB standards.
· Many of Goodland's findings document human rights violations, and the use of police force (police paid by the OCP Consortium) against those opposed to the project.

· Compliance with WB standards is a condition specified in the loan contract between OCP and their main lending institution, WestLB of Germany. The OCP has repeatedly claimed compliance to WB standards. Two World Bank Vice-Presidents have written a joint letter on two occasions to the OCP, most recently on November 7th, 2002, requesting that the OCP cease claiming their project meets WB standards.

· Encana is currently operating in two oil concession blocks in the Ecuador's Northern Amazon. They have recently conducted seismic testing in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve, home to one of the world's most unique eco-systems and the Siona Nation. Official permission from the Siona Federation (ONISE) was alleged to have been reached through clandestine negotiations, resulting in community tensions and disintegration.

· Ethical Funds filed a shareholder resolution to Encana due to the lack of willingness on part of Encana to adequately address concerns over the social, environmental, and financial risks of the pipeline. The shareholder resolution now withdrawn, Ethical Funds continues to engage in dialogue with Encana.

· The OCP Pipeline has been embroiled in controversy since it broke ground over 15 months ago, and has been subject to intensifying local and international opposition. In March of 2002, a state of emergency was declared in two Amazonian provinces due to protests, resulting in the death of 3 demonstrators.

We are inviting you to support this platform and get involved. We are looking to build a national coalition on this issue and welcome your suggestions, especially regarding other groups you think would be interested in joining us.
Please feel free to look at our website to learn more on Oil in Ecuador at

I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes,

Nadja Drost
International Project Coordinator
Toronto Environmental Alliance
30 Duncan St., Suite 201
Toronto, ON M4V 2C3
Tel: (416) 596-0660
Fax: (416) 596-0345