Dear Members of Global Response's "Quick Response Network:"
In 1997 we celebrated a victory with the people of the Junin region of Ecuador, when we supported their efforts to stop development of copper mines by Bishimetals, a Mitsubishi subsidiary. Bishimetals abandoned its Junin project in 1997, but now the Ecuadorean government is auctioning the Junin mining concession to the highest bidder. The date of the auction is August 15 -- giving us just a few days to lend international support to the Junin people in their determination to stop mining in their communities. The municipal government declared Cotacachi County an "ecological county" and passed an ordinance prohibiting "all non-sustainable activities that pose a threat to the health of the communities and the environment." The federal government is ignoring this ordinance and the expressed opposition of the local population to mining.
David Brower once cautioned that in our work to protect the environment, all defeats are permanent, and all victories are temporary. Please sign on to the letter below (see instructions after the letter) or send a fax/email to the Ecuadorean officials listed. Let's help the people of Cotacachi County win this critical second round in their struggle for locally driven sustainable development vs environmentally destructive mining by multinational corporations.
Be sure to send your fax/email before August 15. Thanks for your participation. --Paula Palmer
REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT Please sign onto this letter that DECOIN (Defensa y Conservation Ecologica de Intag) and MPC are writing to Mr. Gustavo Noboa, President of Ecuador, and Mr. Pablo Teran, the Minister of Energy and Mines in Ecuador, to express our support for the communities of Intag in Ecuador and to put pressure on the Ecuadorian government to stop granting concessions through auctions that have to do with studies, exploration, and mining exploitation in the Cotacachi County. Attached below is the letter signed on August 3, 2002 by all six Parish government presidents of the Intag Area, asking for a suspension of the auction of the Junin mining concession, set for August 15, 2002, by the Ministry of Energy and Mines. In addition, it calls for the suspension of all further mining concessions in Cotacachi County. The decision by the Parish government representatives have full support of local organizations and communities including DECOIN, AACRI (Rio Intag Coffee Growers' Association), plus the environmental authorities of Cotacachi County.
Dear President Noboa,
The undersigned organizations call on the government of Ecuador to accept the will of the communities of the Intag region in Cotacachi County to suspend the auction of the Junin mining concession set for August 15, 2002 by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and to stop ceding all concessions and auctions having to do with studies, exploration and mining exploitation in the Cotacachi County.
We ask the Ecuadorian government to respect the Municipal Ordinance proposed by the people of Intag and approved by the Municipal government in 2000, declaring Cotacachi an Ecological County. The Municipal Ordinance prohibits all non-sustainable activities that pose a threat to the health of the communities and the environment. The ordinance strictly prohibits the introduction of dangerous substances into the environment as defined in Article 43, which states that "the establishment of industries or any other productive activity, which involves the use of, or threatens to introduce into the environment, noxious substances, such as heavy metals, including mercury, cyanide, lead and cadmium, is hereby prohibited." The ordinance also specifically prohibits mining in native forests. The preamble states that "the native forests of Cotacachi produce basic goods and services for a wide range of the county's citizens. Thus, they may not be felled or degraded in order to make way for industrial activities such as forestry, flower, or African palm plantations, timber and mining projects, or any other activity of this kind."
The Intag region is a very important buffer area of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, one of the most biologically diverse protected areas in the world, and the only protected area of any significant size in all of Western Ecuador. E.O. Wilson, one of the world's leading scientists and often hailed as "the father of biodiversity" pointed out in his personal letter to Carlos Zorrilla, President of DECOIN, to assist them in the fight against the Mitsubishi Junin copper project in Oct. 1997:
As I pointed out in my book, The Diversity of Life, the forests in western Ecuador are among the hottest of the hot spots of the world, meaning they are among the most endangered ecosystems, down to less than 10% their original extent...and also contain exceptionally large numbers of plant and animals species found nowhere else in the world.
The Municipal Ordinance supports sustainable development. These alternative sustainable development projects being carried out in Cotacachi, include a sustainable coffee project, with over 300 families from all over the Intag region participating. The coffee is currently being sold in the fair trade market in Japan, Ecuador and internationally. There are also several community ecotourism projects, and many private and community ecological reserves.
In keeping with the commitments of the Municipal Ordinance, we ask the Ecuadorian government to suspend the auction of the Junin mining concession set for August 15, 2002 by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and to stop ceding all concessions and auctions having to do with studies, exploration and mining exploitation in the Cotacachi County.
We, the undersigned organizations respect and support the communities of the Intag region and their commitment to promoting sustainable development projects and preserving their environment. Thank you for your attention.
End of letter.
HOW TO SIGN ON Please contact Clare Stark at Mineral Policy Center of your desire to sign on, at: "Clare Stark" email@example.com The letter will also be sent to mining companies in Ecuador.
If you wish to write your own letter to the Ecuadorian government please fax the following contacts
Mr. Gustavo Noboa President of Ecuador Despacho de Presidencia Palacio Carondelet Quito Ecuador Fax: 5932 258 0710 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Pablo Teran Minister of Energy and Mines Quito, Ecuador Fax: +5932 290 6350 Email: email@example.com
******************************** Paula Palmer, Executive Director Global Response P.O. Box 7490 Boulder CO 80306 USA TEL: 303-444-0306 FAX: 303-449-9794 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.globalresponse.org
Global Response empowers people of all ages, cultures, and nationalities to protect the environment by creating partnerships for effective citizen action. At the request of indigenous peoples and grassroots organizations, Global Response organizes international letter-writing campaigns to help communities prevent environmental destruction. Global Response involves young people as well as adults in these campaigns, to develop in them the skills for global citizen cooperation and earth stewardship.
To unsubscribe from this email list, send a blank message to email@example.com
==^================================================================ This email was sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://igc.topica.com/u/?aVximu.a2y9h5 Or send an email to: email@example.com
T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register
Rainforest Information Centre Box 368 Lismore NSW 2480 Australia www.rainforestinfo.org.au firstname.lastname@example.org 61 2 66213294