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Forward on Climate March, Feb 17, 2013, Washington D.C. Indigenous Environmental Network joining with, Sierra Club, and HipHop Caucus to send a message to President Obama to deny the Keystone XL Pipeline and to help us to transition to sustainable and renewable sources of energy. Photo Credit: Jenna Pope

IF you haven’t sent your comments – NOW is the time. Monday, April 22nd, EARTH DAY, is the last day!

The Indigenous Environmental Network is asking for supporters to voice their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline by sending their comments to the U.S. State Department by the deadline.

Once again with one voice, as 40,000 of us did on February 17th, we are calling on President Barrack Obama to reject this dangerous project and continue moving our nation toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy production.

Given the substantial documentation proving the devastation of the environment, ecosystem, water, air, and more recently the health of the indigenous peoples living in the national sacrifice zone of the tar sands, the Obama administration could be making a decision that will directly affect the health and future of the Dene, Cree and Metis’ First Nations people.

Please take a moment to fill in the petition information below and edit the letter provided as you see fit.

We have provided more information below the petition section to help you edit the comment email below. These highlights more reasons the Keystone XL and the tar sands are bad for our environment, our people, our economy, and our collective futures.

We have included many reasons in the sample letter why this pipeline should not be built – but these are not the only ones – So Please, Include YOUR Thoughts and reasons this pipeline should NOT be approved. We also ask you to share this petition with your family, friends, neighbors and social networks.


MONDAY- April 22 is the Deadline for public input.

It is vital that your comments are counted!

Help Defend the Sapara Nation!


President of the Republic of Ecuador Lenin Moreno
Vice-President of the Republic of Ecuador Jorge Glas

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping
Premier of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Ecuador Wang Yulin
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Liu Jieyi

Your Excellencies,

The Sapara Nation of the Amazon in Ecuador and the undersigned organizations and individuals of the world, write to you to request that you act to prevent the genocide of the Sapara Nation and of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation, and that the contracts of the Chinese state oil company Andes Petroleum to explore and exploit oil in Blocks 79 and 83 in the Sapara ancestral territory be immediately and definitively canceled. The survival of the Sapara Nation and Indigenous Peoples in Isolation depends on the health of our rainforest, rivers, mountains and biodiversity, where our spirits are born.

The territory of the Sapara Nation where the 560 Sapara live in 25 communities is located in Ecuador in the Amazonian province of Pastaza, quenched by the Conambo, Pindoyacu, Jandiayacu, Corrientes and Tigre rivers. The spirits of our ancestors, who reside in our mountains, visit us in our dreams and care for the animals, trees, waterfalls and pools. We also share out territory with our brothers and sisters of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation including the Taromenane and the Tagaeri.

Unfortunately, in 2011, the government of Ecuador imposed a grid of oil blocks on our sacred territory. Bidding on the concessions to these oil blocks was opened during the Suroriente Round and, in February 2014, the offer to explore Blocks 79 and 83 presented by Andes Petroleum (a consortium of two Chinese state companies National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) y China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec)), was accepted. Two exploration and exploitation contracts were signed on January 25th, 2016, condemning our home to imminent destruction.

Meanwhile, the Sapara Nation was never consulted. Nor did the Sapara Nation grant its free, prior and informed consent, as stipulated by the Constitution of Ecuador, international human rights treaties and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, even though this project can gravely impact our integrity and very existence as a people, including the survival of our language and culture, which were declared oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2001.

Many international instruments and national laws have been violated including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Furthermore, the United Nations recognizes that there are risks of genocide of the Sapara People and the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation.

In this regard, there are precedents of genocides causes by the exploration, extraction, exploitation and transportation of oil in the Amazon in Ecuador. The operations of Texaco (now known as Chevron) caused grave destruction of the environment and cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples. Both the Tetetes and the Sanshauri who inhabited the region exploited by Texaco were wiped out.

Because of this, Indigenous nations oppose the extraction of resources from our territories and exercise our constitutional right to resistance. Our opposition has been expressed in declarations, national campaigns and several letters to the Ambassador of China in Ecuador. However, until now, we have not received a response.

For all these reasons, we request that the President of Ecuador commit to protecting ancestral cultures like that of the Sapara, and act to ensure that the Chinese oil company Andes Petroleum refrain from entering Indigenous Peoples’ territories. We also demand that the Chinese government assume its commitment to comply with international law and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and that its overseas investments adhere to the Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains; Guidelines for Social Responsibility in Outbound Mining Investments; and Guidelines on Environmental Protection in Overseas Investment and Cooperation.

In summary, we request that:

1. The oil concessions in Sapara territory and the territory of Indigenous Peoples in Isolation be immediately and definitively canceled;

2. Any and all exploration, exploitation and extraction of hydrocarbons or timber in the territory of Indigenous Peoples in Isolation be stopped;

3. The carbon offset project called SocioBosque in Sapara territory be immediately and definitively canceled and that no carbon offset projects be implemented in the territory of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation in the future;

4. That the collective and individual rights of the Sapara Nation and of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation enshrined in national and international law are fully implemented and that the necessary budget is allocated for their implementation as indicated by the Sapara People through their legitimate representative organizations such as the Sapara Nation and the Sapara Women’s Association of Ecuador Ashiñwaka.


Manari Ushigua, President of the Sapara Nation of Ecuador | Gloria Ushigua, President of the Sapara Women’s Association of Ecuador (ASHIÑWAKA)

cc- UN Secretary-General António Guterres
cc- Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova
cc- UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng
cc- UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
cc- UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
cc- UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
cc- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
cc- President de Andes Petroleum in Ecuador Zhao Xinjun
cc- President of National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
cc- President of China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec)
cc- Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan in San Francisco

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“On March 11, 2010, the NEB issued its Reasons for Decision granting Keystone’s application. The NEB’s Reasons for Decision included an Environmental Screening Report (ESR) that was prepared to meet the requirements of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for the Canadian portion of the proposed Keystone XL Project. The ESR concluded that implementation of the proposed Keystone XL Project in Canada would not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects with incorporation of Keystone’s proposed measures to avoid or minimize impacts and with Keystone’s acceptance of the NEB’s regulatory requirements and recommended conditions attached to the ESR.”

This assessment above comes from government and its agencies that continue to, pass legislation to avoid accountability for the elevated emissions and devastating health effects suffered by communities downstream of the tar sands. These are also the same governmental people who have continually denounced hundreds of scientists, armed with irrefutable evidence, that the tar sands are the most carbon intensive project on the planet and will rapidly accelerate global climate change beyond the tipping point, if not stopped.

More information can be found on the tar sands and climate justice on this site and on the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Facebook Page.