It's no secret that our world is not the healthy and vibrant planet that it once was…
Over centuries of manmade interference such as fossil fuels and deforestation, our beautiful planet has begun to wither and decline. Many people in this world fight to save the earth, but it often seems that such attempts are futile as it is those in power that continue to drain the earth of its sources, weakening it and the unique wildlife that it has birthed.
But sometimes, we see little signs of hope for our world, and sometimes the little guy working to protect the earth comes out on top. This was recently the case in the dense jungles of the Amazon, where a local tribe changed everything.
Oil is a priceless substance.
via: shutterstockAlthough many would like to deny the energy source, it has to be admitted that it has helped to power our species for decades, providing warmth and more.
But now things are changing…
via: shutterstockThe use of oil began in a time before the discovery of renewable energy. These days, we can gain power through the sun, the air and the sea.
But some still can’t see that.
via: shutterstockIt appears that some still turn a blind eye to these resources, continuing to dig for oil and other fossil-based fuels.
Recently, such a case was opened in the Amazon.
via: shutterstockThe Ecuadorian Government hoped to drill for oil throughout 7m acres of natural rainforest.
And some people weren’t happy about it.
via: shutterstockThese people being The Waorani, a local tribe who have fought to protect the rainforest and its inhabitants for years, managing to save over half a million acres of rainforest from being drilled.
How amazing do these people sound?
via: shutterstockNot only have they done this, but they've also managed to shut down the government’s hope to drill the 7m acres, disrupting the auctioning of sixteen oil blocks.
The final decision was made in court.
via: shutterstockA lawsuit against the drilling proposal was submitted in 2012. It officially announced that the judge sided with the native tribe, indefinitely ending the auctioning of land.
The executive director had this to say:
via: shutterstockIn a statement by Mitch Anderson, the executive director of Amazon Frontlines, Anderson had this to say: "This is a major precedent for indigenous rights across the Amazon. Today, the court has recognized a pattern of deceit, bad-faith and manipulative tactics in the Ecuadorian Government’s attempt to earmark the Waorani people’s lands for oil extraction."
Not only this, but it also gave precedence to the native people.
via: shutterstockAnderson went on to acknowledge the huge step forward that this has been for the native tribes and their rights: "This is a huge step forward in the battle to ensure indigenous people’s rights over their lands are respected. Guaranteeing indigenous peoples’ rights to decide over their future and to say ‘No’ to destructive extractive projects is key to protecting the Amazon rainforest and halting climate change."
And there’s more.
via: shutterstockThe judging panel was made up of three members who all agreed in favor of the native people and their plight, paving the way for native rights and the preservation of the forest.
A Waorani spokesperson had this to say about the decision:"Today we have protected our forest from oil drilling; we have protected our water from contamination; we have protected our children from sickness. This is a legal precedent for indigenous rights."
But the fight is far from over.
via: shutterstockThe Waorani understand that there is still so much to do: "But the fight is far from over. The government will appeal because they still want the oil beneath our land. Indigenous Nations across the Amazon and the world must band together to protect our homes."
But they will continue to protect their land and culture.
via: shutterstockIn an interview with The New Yorker, the Waorani leader, Nemonte Nequimo had this to say: "The court recognized that the government violated our right to live free, and make our own decisions about our territory and self determination, Our territory is our decision, and now, since we are owners, we are not going to let oil enter and destroy our natural surroundings and kill our culture."
Let’s hope they can.
via: shutterstockIt’s nice to hear something positive about the Amazon rainforest for a change.
But who knows what the future will hold.?
via: shutterstockWe still don’t know what will happen, but let’s be grateful that there are people like this fighting to save our planet. Actually, there are more people out there, helping the earth to survive, than we think. It's sad that we don't get to hear about these stories more often. Keep scrolling to hear about an amazing couple who planted 2 million trees to restore a destroyed forest!