Stop the destruction of a cloud forest in Ecuador for copper
Chilean and Ecuadorian mining companies are planning to destroy a cloud forest in Ecuador in order to mine for copper. This would result in the loss of the forest’s biodiversity including many endangered species – sign a petition to ask the Chilean government to stop the destruction of these forests.
Picture credit – Rainforest Rescue
Modern technology would be inconceivable without copper. It can be found in every power cable, appliance, mobile phone and car. The richest deposits of the metal can be found in South America: Chile mines 5.4 million tons of ore annually, making it the world’s largest copper producer by far, and Codelco – a company wholly owned by the Chilean state – is the world’s number one supplier.
Now the government of neighboring Ecuador is planning on exploiting a copper deposit northwest of its capital, Quinto, with Codelco’s assistance, sacrificing the unique cloud forests of the Intag in the process.
The proposed location of the mine in the Ecuadorian Andes is the site of some of the world’s most biodiverse pristine forests – the habitat of jaguars, spectacled bears, Andean cocks-of-the-rock, black-headed spider monkeys and many other endangered species.
Accessing the deep copper deposits and accommodating huge dumps of toxic spoil will mean stripping the slopes of the Toisan Range, diverting rivers and demolishing several villages. If the Llurimagua mining project goes ahead, the cloud forests of the Intag region and their inhabitants will become collateral damage.
Naturally, the people of the Intag region are fighting the mining project tooth and nail. On two previous occasions, their protests led major foreign investors – the Japanese Mitsubishi subsidiary Bishimetals and Canada’s Ascendant Copper – to abandon the project.
The Ecuadorian government, however, is ignoring the affected communities and sending in security forces to intimidate and arrest activists. Environmentalists of the Intag region are now calling on the Chilean government to intervene and are asking for international support.
Please add your voice to their appeal to the Chilean government to withdraw from the project in Ecuador.