Helena and Nina Gualinga – #EndAmazonCrude: A Call to Action with Amazonian Indigenous Forest Protectors
California is the world’s largest consumer of oil from the Amazon rainforest. This extraction contributes to climate change, causes deforestation, pollutes the oceans, displaces Indigenous peoples stewarding the Amazon Forest’s last remaining biodiversity, and harms people at every end of the supply chain, including the marginalized communities living in the shadow of toxic refineries right here. We honored to be able to offer our main stage to two leading Indigenous Amazonian forest-protectors, sisters Nina Gualinga and Helena Gualinga, who work closely with our friends at Amazon Watch as they appeal to Californians (and all of us) to #EndAmazonCrude and demand corporate responsibility for people and planet.
This talk was delivered at the 2022 Bioneers Conference.
Nina Gualinga is an Indigenous woman defender of the Amazon from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon who advocates for women’s rights and climate justice. She is an international spokeswoman for Mujeres Amazonicas and the Women Defenders Program Coordinator at Amazon Watch.
Helena Gualinga is an Indigenous youth environmental and climate justice advocate from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku. She is a co-founder of Polluters Out and is a Young Women Project Lead with WECAN. Her work and story is featured in the recently released documentary, “Helena from Sarayaku,” which premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival.
In this address to the 2021 Bioneers Conference, Nemonte Nenquimo, a leader from the Waorani community in Ecuador and a founding member of Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance and its partner, Amazon Frontlines, discusses why respecting Indigenous people’s internationally recognized rights to decide the future of their territories, cultures and lives is critically urgent for the protection of our world’s most important rainforest, our climate, and life on our planet.
For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples have protected their sacred ancestral territories in the Amazon. In this keynote address to the 2019 Bioneers Conference, Leila Salazar López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, urges us to stand with them to protect and restore the bio-cultural integrity of the Amazon, because our collective future depends on it.