EO’s Co-Founder and President, David Poritz, and founding Board member, Paul Sorensen visited Ecuador last month and met with fellow Board member, Juan Carlos Jintiach, a member of the Shuar and representative of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon region and his colleague, Enrique Salazar; EO Co-Founder, Manuel Pallares and his wife, Cristina Latorre; and former Secretary General of OPEC and member of EO’s Advisory Council, Rene Ortiz.
The group discussed developments in EO’s work to advance the sustainable development of energy and natural resources, as well as the continuing challenges that Indigenous Peoples face in securing recognition of their rights to land and to meaningful participation in decision-making around whether and how their natural resources are developed.
At the same time, they agreed there is currently a renewed sense of optimism and perhaps a unique opportunity that exist with the change of administration in Peru and the upcoming elections in Ecuador that could herald "a new era" of best practices and higher standards in the energy sector as well as greater protection of Indigenous Peoples' rights.
The group also reaffirmed their collective interest in furthering opportunities for dialogue and exchange between indigenous communities in North and South America around strategies and tools to promote better environmental and social performance of large-scale projects affecting Amazon forests and waters, and to improve Indigenous Peoples’ representation in the governance of natural resources. These were themes explored at EO’s multi-stakeholder forum in Peru last year, co-organized by AIDESEP and supported by USAID and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
EO looks forward to advancing our work in Ecuador and the Amazon region and supporting the increased participation of Indigenous Peoples in the governance and stewardship of their natural resources.