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Fluye el petróleo, sangra la selva

-Graffiti en Quito - Ecuador

Keep the oil in the soil and the coal in the hole

-Conference of Polluters - COP17 - Durban 2011


Who we are


Oilwatch is a network of resistance to oil activities in tropical countries.


  1. Oilwatch aims to stop the expansion of oil activities that are degrading tropical countries, socially and environmentally.
  2. Oilwatch is a network of resistance to the negative impacts of the oil and gas industry on peoples and their environment. After decades of hydrocarbons extraction the balance is always negative.
  3. Oilwatch is a network that builds solidarity and promotes a common identity in the peoples of the South. Our diversity is also our strength.
  4. Oilwatch recognises the similarities of the pattern of resources exploitation in countries of the South that show the historical legacy of domination and plundering of resources from the North. It also recognises peoples right to self-determination as one of the main solutions to environmental problems. Our past and our current environmental problems are similar.
  5. The members of Oilwatch support the initiatives of local populations in opposition to oil and gas activities. The network does not impose ideas or push the people to act. The network exists to support what the local populations autonomously decide to do. The initiatives we support include the monitoring of the devastation and violations that arise directly or indirectly from oil activities; local claims of compensations and restoration of their ecosystems so that they can be able to provide for themselves again; lawsuits brought by local populations, etc.
  6. Oilwatch is a network that promotes and implements decentralization. It works as a movement. That is the strength of the network. It provides an adequate environment to combine our energies and, at the same time, preserve our identity.
  7. The objective of Oilwatch is to build a network of national and regional organizations that act at the local level and join together to intervene at the international level in order to protect life and the livelihoods of the local populations. It does so, by linking the environmental impacts with the social impacts of oil activities.
  8. Oilwatch promotes the debate on issues around oil activities such as: human rights, climate change, biodiversity conservation, ecological debt and external debt.
  9. Oilwatch promotes a moratorium to new projects of hydrocarbons extraction, through a proposal that includes energy sovereignty and self-determination of peoples against a model of civilization based on fossil fuels that causes impoverishment, pain and death.

Oilwatch General Assembly

Cartagena, September 2003


Oilwatch creation was inspired by the need to develop global strategies for the communities affected by
oil activities; support their resistance processes because they didn't want to see their territories
damaged; work for sustainability and defend their collective rights.
Within the activities of the network are the exchange of information on oil activities in each country,
the companies' operation practices, the different resistance movements and the international campaigns
against specific companies.
Oilwatch aims to increase environmental awareness at a global level unravelling the impacts of the oil
activities in tropical forests and local populations by establishing a link between the destruction of
biodiversity, climate change, violations to human rights and the role of the Multilateral Banks of


Oilwatch was created on February 1996 in Quito, Ecuador with the presence of 15 organizations from
the following countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Gabon, Thailand, Sri Lanka, East Timor,
Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Brazil.
Nowadays, the network has members in over fifty countries around the world. National and regional
networks have been created in Asia and Africa and it also has organisations in the global North to
support its activities.


Oilwatch International is coordinated from offices in Nigeria and Ecuador. Oilwatch has an
international steering committee with members from Africa, South America, South East Asia as well as
representation from international networks from the global South and North.
The General Assembly of all the members of Oilwatch is held very two years and the International
Committee meets once a year.


  • Resistance Bulletin for its members in English, French and Spanish that circulates by email.
  • Elaboration of technical reports on companies and oil operations (the Secretariat has a database)
  • Production of information for its dissemination and materials to support the campaigns (depending on the activities of the campaign, printed materials or other type of materials).
  • Book production of cases of resistance or other issues
  • Maintenance of the website with information on the oil industry and the resistance processes.


  • Oilwatch organizes and facilitates the participation of members of the network in meetings related to oil problems and other related issues
  • Organizes exchanges between affected people from different regions and countries
  • The network organizes workshops or courses with groups of affected people or potentially affected that include itineraries for the observation of affected areas and negative impacts.


Oilwatch aims to:

  • support campaigns proposed by the members of the network
  • develop links between campaigns
  • link campaigns with similar proposals or strategies 


NGOs, Networks of NGOs, organizations or individuals interested in working in a network of
resistance to oil activities, following the impacts of oil companies at the local and global level and
developing campaigns against these companies, can be part of Oilwatch. To be a part of the network
the interested party should agree with the principles and strategies of the network and could ask for a
membership to the focal point of their home country, to the regional office or the Secretariat through a
formal letter that points out their fields of work, email, telephone, and fax to the following address:


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Benin City- Nigeria