Ecuadorians vote to ban oil drilling in the Amazon in ‘historic’ referendum
In a historic referendum held in February 2021, Ecuadorians have voted overwhelmingly to ban oil drilling in the Amazon. This ban affects oil and gas exploitation projects in Yasuní National Park and is seen as a landmark move to protect the world’s largest tropical rainforest from destruction.
The region is home to 2.5 million people and has some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and is seen as a crucial bulwark against climate change. The importance of the Amazon to the global climate has been well-documented, and this decisive vote has been applauded by environmental activists around the world.
Over 93% of those who voted in the referendum supported the ban, making it the largest electoral decision in history regarding oil activities in the region. The total number of voters was equivalent to more than half of Ecuador’s population.
International organizations, including the United Nations and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, have welcomed the result of the referendum. Many countries have also expressed their support for the effort to protect the Amazon, with some, such as the United Kingdom, promising to invest in conservation efforts in the region.
The result of the referendum is likely to have a major impact on the future of the Amazon and the fight against climate change. It is hoped that it will also strengthen the hand of activists as they continue to push for increased conservation measures to protect this vital global asset.