For twelve days in May local, national and global groups from all over the planet held actions in six continents and 13 countries under the banner to "break free from fossil fuels". It was an unprecedented wave of peaceful direct action, in many cases including children and elders, warning governments and corporations that the era of dirty fossils has come to an end. We will not stand by while they sell our future.
For this reason, the country behind the Yasuni ITT initiative, worldly renowned for the project to leave the oil in the soil, could not be left out. To honor the Amazon, YASunidos and representatives from other groups and organizations that defend life, symbolically took over the deforested land set for the construction of the so-called "Refinería del Pacífico" to stop the oil expansion that is bleeding the Yasuni National Park.
"We wanted to plant a few trees to represent the need to break free from oil, and also to show the land should be in the hands of the community. The original owners need to have a saying on how these lands can be recovered", said Pato Chavez, member of Yasunidos.
Our proposal is to build an archaeological, agro-ecological and eco-tourism complex that includes the local sanctuaries, helping the cities and communities of Alfaro an Cerro de Montecristi.
Over the last years the "nightmare" of climate change has become a reality. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), scientific body of the UN climate analysis, has warned that we need to leave at least 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground if we want to prevent climate change's environmental catastrophe.
Faced with this warning and after the the poor agreement reached in Paris at the last UN Conference COP 21, it is clear that "they", meaning the governments, are not and will likely not take responsibility to avoid the climate debacle. Instead, we, people from Ecuador and across the globe, are bravely assuming the responsibility and rising together to stop this addiction to oil, coal and fracking.
For more information about Break Free 2016 click here: https://breakfree2016.org/
For photos of the Break Free action in Ecuador see here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/breakfree2016/sets/72157668199030311