Today’s Solutions: July 21, 2024

Earlier this month, Ecuador’s highest court passed a landmark ruling in favor of the protected cloud forest in the northwest of the country, Los Cedros.

Enami EP, Ecuador’s national mining company, held rights for mining concessions that involved areas in two-thirds of the reserve, however, the constitutional court decided that these mining permits would gravely impact the biodiversity of the forest, which includes endangered frogs, several rare orchid species, spectacled bears, and one of the world’s rarest primates, the brown-headed spider monkey.

The ruling advocates for the rights of nature, which apply to the entire country, not just protected areas, and were formally included in the country’s rewritten constitution between 2007 and 2008.

“This is a historic victory in favor of nature,” declared Natalia Greene of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, one of the NGOs that fought to keep mining out of Los Cedros.

“The constitutional court states that no activity that threatens the rights of nature can be developed within the ecosystem of Los Cedros protected forest, including mining and any other extractive activity. Mining is now banned from this amazing and unique protected forest. This sets a great juridical precedent to continue with other threatened protected forests. Today, the endangered frogs, the spectacled bears, the spider monkey, the birds, and nature as a whole have won an unprecedented battle.”

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