Rights of Nature and Ancestral Rights Lawsuit


The Afro-descendant community of La Chiquita and the Awá Community of Guadualito filed the the world’s first constitutionally-based Rights of Nature lawsuit on July 23, 2010. This demand for justice—which simultaneously begs for a shift in merely human rights-based paradigms—was made by people who literally and figuratively live in the margins of Ecuador: The Canton of San Lorenzo (Esmeraldas Province). Together with allies, they have sustained a legal battle against two oil palm companies for contaminating their rivers and destroying the sustenance of their everyday lives, thereby violating their ancestral rights and nature’s rights in their rainforest territories within the Santiago-Cayapas Watershed in the Chocó Pacific Rainforest along the Ecuadorian-Colombian border.

With no signs of reparation or compensation to date, we have reached across ethnic borders to create networks of support and collectively regenerate hope. Roots and Routes stands by the side of La Chiquita and Guadualito community members and asks you for support to help them buy water in town, pay for trips to the capital to see lawyers and supporting NGOs in Quito, to print documents to share with community members, and other legal processual expenses.

Read more about this landmark lawsuit here: