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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


Declaración de oilwatch en el Foro Permanente de Pueblos Indígenas

Oilwatch To the
Fifth Session
New York, 15-26 of May 2006
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Over the past 10 years, OILWATCH have been building a strong and active resistance network to the negative impacts of fossil fuels activities on peoples and their environment. OILWATCH is dedicated to develop global strategies and supporting local communities’ struggles against those activities. We make an effort to raise, at the global level, the environmental conscience, exposing the oil and gas operations impacts in tropical forests and fragile areas, indigenous territories, and in local populations, also establishing the relationship between this activity and the destruction of water sources, lost of biodiversity, the climate change and the unpunished violation of human rights.

We see more clearly than ever before, looking at struggles of different social movements, that we have a profound connection among each other. The struggle for staying healthy and eating well, the struggle for work with respect and dignity, the fight for clean sources of energy, for a sustainable and sovereign agriculture, the fight for decontamination and against global warming, the resistance against transnational companies that exploit our work and expropriate our natural resources, the defense of human rights, the great effort to see the financial debts annulated, and the fight for national sovereignty and world peace....... depends to a great extent on our ability to jointly resist the oil industry and the civilization it sustains.

Never before have the limits of the current development model based of hydrocarbons been seen so clearly. Never, until now, has the relationship between oil and the networks of power that control the world, been so clearly understood, nor have the relationships between oil and the principal causes of misery which affect humanity been so evident.

· Behind the worst wars of the last century and the current,
· Behind the wastage of industrial, economic and financial resources,
· Behind the instability and impoverishment of many nations,
· Behind innumerable State coups, dictatorships and manipulations of democracy,
· Behind the profane subordination of the most productive workers,
· Behind the international foreign debt of the last 30 years,
· Behind the most dangerous chemical industries,
· Behind the systematic and uncountable extinction of indigenous peoples,
· Behind the contamination of the world's fresh water, water of the seven seas, and air of our cities,
· Behind the destruction of numerous forests,
· Behind the accumulation of enormous amounts of chemical and plastic wastes,
· Behind climate change that includes cyclones, floods and hurricanes which are ever more extreme,
· Behind the appearance and expansion of numerous degenerative illnesses and therefore,
· Behind the disappearance of languages and extermination of cultures,
· Behind the extinction of life on the planet and as a main cause of human deaths in the world,
We have oil.

During the 20th century, we have suffered the worst threats to the sovereignty of our nations and territories causing wars and intrigues due to oil. The largest empires define their principal forms of economic and military power in relation to the possibilities of obtaining their own black gold, or to obtain secure access to it in other regions. This has been highlighted as the era of supreme power of the transnational companies, where pressure, manipulation and corruption promote the loss of national sovereignty.

For the indigenous peoples in the world, for the southern countries, for the most vulnerable communities, the oil model has meant the perpetuation of an inequitable exchange, a technological dependence, indebtedness, and impoverishment. Also the existence of the social and ecological debt owe by the North to the south, which began during the colonial years. Fossil fuels as a source of energy, capitalism, and the cult of market have not only failed in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, for Indigenous Peoples, but also threatens their existence. In fact, the indigenous territories, are the last frontiers of this collapsed model, and are the most vulnerable and threaten.


The crisis of the oil civilization has reached its climax. At an international level almost nothing is being done to end it. But, at the local level, the fight of peasant, fishing and indigenous communities that face a frontal battle against globalization and neo liberalism, by defending their right to live on their lands, with autonomy, without physical, cultural or environmental aggressions, independent even of those that are considered "symbols of progress", shows us a clear path.

Indigenous peoples, who propose production and consumption models different than the globalized models, should be recognized as contributors to this path and we should highlight their proposals and learn to start building the true foundations of sustainability. This implies to recognize their rights for territory, for their culture and knowledge, and implies the elimination of obstacles that obstruct full application of these rights, as it is the oil companies’ presence. The indigenous peoples should have the right to decide what happens in their territories, about the type of life they want to live. Can not be object of pressure, impositions or harassment by the States or the companies to accept the oil industry in their territories.

If we want to talk seriously about a commitment with sustainability, and with the respect for the human rights, the countries should invest their efforts in the protection of the indigenous people’s rights, in the sovereign development of new energy sources, and in fortifying the territorial and patrimonial sovereignty of the countries.

The international community has to recognize:
  • The legitimate resistance of the peoples that are oppose to oil projects and fight for the self determination to decide which type of development want.
  • The brave work of the people that was able to close operations, to recover their land and to re-appropriate their resources.
  • The work of indigenous people, peasants, traditional populations in laying the foundations for food sovereignty.
  • The work of the environmental rights advocates for strengthening the protected areas and fragile territories legislation.
  • The work of the indigenous peoples and their organizations for broaden and strengthening the exercise of collective and peoples’ rights. ' )

Now we need to listen to each other, and share our struggles.
OILWATCH is inviting Indigenous Organizations and Networks to initiate a joint dialogue and to share opinions, comments, suggestions, and ideas in order to think and dream together in a new post oil world.