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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > July 2019 > Vegan News

Vegan News

All things vegan from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports, animal advocacy and more. Got news for us? Email vegannews@primeimpact.co.uk

The Waorani people win court case to protect their land

An indigenous tribe from the Ecuadorian Amazon, who have lived in the rainforest for generations, have successfully warded off threats from the oil industry. At the end of May, they fought for their home, traditions and entire way of life in court and won the case.

The battle came following the Ecuadorian Government’s attempts to auction off the Waorani people’s land to major oil companies, threatening not only the people, but a myriad of rainforest life and biodiversity. Thankfully, after launching a legal challenge, the auction was prevented from happening, and now, the 500,000 acres of Amazon rainforest involved is protected from oil drilling.

According to the Waorani people, the government did not consult them about the use of their land for auction. It is maintained by the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Sources that they did attend the tribe to gain consent, but the founder of NGO Amazon Frontlines (amazonfrontlines.org), Mitch Anderson, explained that the visits were not taken seriously by government officials. Anderson stipulates that the appointments were short, and that no efforts were made to learn or speak the natives’ language, so as to communicate with them effectively. He told The New Yorker (newyorker.com): “The consultations were treated as a box that needed to be checked off.”

The judge ruled that informed consent had not been given by the local people. Waorani leader, Nemonte Nenquimo, said: “The court recognised that the government violated our right to live free, and make our own decisions about our territory and self-determination. Our land 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.”

Unhappy with the court’s decision, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Resources intends to appeal. Following the news, a petition has been created for the Waorani tribe, calling for others to stand with them to back up the court’s decision, and help to protect the Amazon rainforest. The petition requests that the Ecuadorian Government respects the outcome of the case and leaves indigenous Amazonian tribes to live out their lives as they deserve.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our jam-packed July issue. It’s always around this time of year that our staff get a bit thin on the ground, as we all head off on our summer holidays. We’ve had team members head to Ibiza, Madrid and Bali, armed with lists and recommendations, all seeking sun, sea and delicious vegan food. So to make sure you have your best summer yet, we’ve rounded up our top holiday suggestions (p42), got your sun care (p44) and snacks covered (p48) and Will Rankin has some brilliant travel hacks guaranteed to make your trip runs smoothly (p50). Closer to home, we have taken an in-depth look at the state of British wildlife (p106). I can remember, as a girl, walking through woods and seeing a huge array of animals — moles poking their heads out of mounds, timid rabbits darting back to their burrows and ponds lined with frogs. A walk through the countryside, sadly, can feel very different now — our wildlife is in serious and rapid decline with 11 per cent of our woodland species threatened with extinction. We uncover the issues affecting British nature and talk with those trying to save it. I’m also really excited to introduce our hilarious new columnist Claire Thrift (p58), who tells us about how her family are winning this BBQ season. Have a great month

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