In February, the Ecuadorian government announced the imminent auction of new oil concessions including Block 22, an area of the Amazon rainforest that the Digital Democracy team knows well. Block 22 covers the heart of Waorani Territory, an area where we began working in fall 2015 at the request of Waorani communities and our partners Amazon Frontlines and Alianza Ceibo.
Today, the Waorani communities affected by Block 22 have united to declare:
"We are Waorani and we have always lived in the Amazon rainforest. Drilling for oil within our territory threatens everything that matters for our people. We do not recognize what the government calls Oil Block 22.
"Our forest homeland is not an oil block, it is our life.
"Our message to the oil companies: Our land is not for sale."
The Waorani are seeking allies to support their call to halt new oil drilling in their territory. We at Digital Democracy are proud to have been involved with these efforts, through initial mapping workshops and providing technical assistance to the Waorani mapping team. They have used Mapeo, our offline-mapping software, to document the thousands of points, lines and areas that, together, create a powerful representation of the Waorani relationship to territory. We worked with the Waorani and their allies to create a beautiful interactive map which tells their story.
For more on the Waorani mapping process, read this blog post