Time for some
Ecuador: Justice for Sarayaku
Kichwa girl in Sarayaku
Jul 26, 2012
Good news from the indigenous community of Kichwa, who live in the region Sarayaku in Ecuador. After ten years they have won their legal dispute against the government.
For nearly thirty years oil companies have been interested in the regional oil reserves of Sarayaku. The well organized community has been able to stand up against the pressure from government and companies. 2003, soldiers and oil workers stormed the region, destroying 260 hectares of woodland and placed 1,5 tonnes of explosives. To this day a large part of these explosives lie underground.
Now a statement of the Inter-American-Comission on Human Rights (IACHR) confirms the responsibility of the government for the violation of the rights of the Kichwa. They will receive a compensation, their land must be cleared of explosives. Furthermore the court of justice has affirmed their right of self-determined, equal development.
”We thank all those who solidly united stand up for the rights of indigenous people“
The natives had sued the Ecuadorian government for violation of their land right, human right and their legitimate autonomy. They demanded for their legal right of free prior informed consent (ILO 169).
The license for oil production, given by the government, endangers the Kichwas cultural and territorial integrity. Sarayaku is located in the Amazonian region, in the midst of still intact jungle in the South-East of the country.
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The Future of Wind Power: 9 Cool Innovations
Makani Airborne Wind Turbine: The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) can access stronger and more consistent wind at altitudes near 1,000 feet, which means that 85% of the US could have viable wind resources using the device (compared to just 15% using current turbine technology). The Makani turbine could also be deployed in deep offshore waters, which could lead to access to a renewable energy resource four times greater than the entire country's electrical generation capacity.
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Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic
The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.
The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow "students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way." The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.
The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations. Anyone alive today is assured that their old garden hoses and other polyurethane trash will still be here to greet his or her great, great grandchildren. Unless something eats it.
The fungi, Pestalotiopsis microspora, is the first anyone has found to survive on a steady diet of polyurethane alone and--even more surprising--do this in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that is close to the condition at the bottom of a landfill.
Student Pria Anand recorded the microbe’s remarkable behavior and Jonathan Russell isolated the enzymes that allow the organism to degrade plastic as its food source. The Yale team published their findings in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology late last year concluding the microbe is "a promising source of biodiversity from which to screen for metabolic properties useful for bioremediation." In the future, our trash compactors may simply be giant fields of voracious fungi.