Ecuador To Sell Off Part Of The Amazon To Chinese Oil Companies

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Ecuador To Sell Off Part Of The Amazon To Chinese Oil Companies

Chinese oil companies have entered a contest of buying out the precious land as Ecuador plans to auction off three out of 8.1 million hectares of the Amazon rainforest. Among the big companies, China Petrochemical and China National Offshore Oil have already been placing bets in meetings that were held in Quito, Houston, Paris and more recently in Beijing.


At the same time, Peru declares a state of environmental emergency in its northern part of the Amazon rainforest. However, Ecuador seems to be making these plans due to a significant debt of over $7 billion, equivalent to between 10 and 20 percent of its GDP, as of last year.


Back in 2009, Ecuador started receiving loans of billions of dollars from China in exchange for oil shipments. Meanwhile, China funded Ecuador toward implementing its hydroelectric infrastructure projects, and now, China National Petroleum Corp is pushing for a 30 percent stake of Ecuador's $10 billion oil refinery.


Environmental and human rights activist, Adam Zuckerman, at California-based NGO Amazon Watch, told the Guardian:


"My understanding is that this is more of a debt issue – it's because the Ecuadoreans are so dependent on the Chinese to finance their development that they're willing to compromise in other areas such as social and environmental regulations,"


Ecuador's seven indigenous groups that live in the potentially affected area are extremely dissatisfied. Just last year, the court had ruled in favor of the [Kichwa] Sarayaku people's right to communal indigenous property and cultural identity and protection of such. The court made it explicit that the government must receive free and informed consent from the affected native groups prior to approving any oil activities on the land.


A leader of Ecuador's Shuar people, Narcisa Mashienta, says in the report,
"They have not consulted us, and we're here to tell the big investors that they don't have our permission to exploit our land,"


British multimedia journalist based in Peru, Dan Collyns reports to The Guardian that:


"Indigenous people living in the Pastaza river basin near Peru's border with Ecuador have complained for decades about ...pollution," which are due to the high levels of petroleum-related compounds present in the area. The Argentinian company Pluspetrol has operated oil fields there since 2001.

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Thinking Humanity: Ecuador To Sell Off Part Of The Amazon To Chinese Oil Companies
Ecuador To Sell Off Part Of The Amazon To Chinese Oil Companies
Chinese oil companies have entered a contest of buying out the precious land as Ecuador plans to auction off three out of 8.1 million hectares of the Amazonian rainforest. Among the big companies, China Petrochemical and China National Offshore Oil have already been placing bets in meetings that were held in Quito, Houston, Paris and more recently in Beijing.
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