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DAYS BEFORE CANCUN: Historic Moment in the defence of the Rights of Nature

A historic case was filed by an international coalition of defenders of nature’s rights at the Constitutional court of Ecuador against BP
and its crimes against nature. Ecuador recognises the rights of
nature in its current constitution adopted in 2008. The rights of
nature are universal. This provides the fundamental basis for this
legal case.

The case was brought with regard to the massive environmental disaster caused when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010. That
incident exposed BP’s drive to maximise profit with total
disregard of nature and its rights. The company constantly lied with
regard to the scale of the disaster and toped this up by using
unusually high amounts of toxic chemical dispersants to cover up the
spill. This disaster was not limited to the Gulf Coast but has wider
reach through the movement of water as well as atmospheric

The defenders of nature are not seeking financial compensation since the harm done to nature cannot be compensated for in monetary terms. Some
of the key demands in the case include that BP should release
all data and information on the ecological destruction caused by the
oil spill. Another demand is that they should also to refrain from
extracting as much oil underground as they spilled in the Gulf of
Mexico incident.

Besides this case the activists called for support for the Yasuni ITT proposal of the Ecuadorian government to leave the oil in that
sensitive ecosystem underground. They also urged the US government to
extend the moratorium on offshore oil drilling.

Speaking after filing the case, the defenders of nature insisted that phasing out crude oil as a major energy source should be an issue of critical
importance at the climate conference in Cancun. It is the key way to
phase out the current carbon economy, tackle climate change and halt
the forces that are driving the current global crises.

Among the plaitiffs are: Vandana Shiva from India, Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria, Alberto Acosta, Ecuador.


ivonne Yanez, Acción Ecológica/Oilwatch 045 5513664123

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