Following an arduous court battle, nine young Ecuadorian girls who pleaded for the elimination of natural gas flaring in the Amazon have won their case as they are entitled to a healthy environment.
“I’m very happy because, finally, justice has been served,” says 10-year-old Leonela Moncayo, one of the nine young protesters. “We’re going to restore nature, for all the sick children, for the people, for the parents who have fought to stay healthy, for the families that have also kept fighting if only to grow a few crops, for the families who live under the flares and have had to abandon their land.”
At least 447 flares have been burning since 1967 to burn off by-product of oil extraction. Health problems ensued, including cancer, and death are directly linked to the fossil fuel drilling activity. There were more cancer cases in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana than anywhere else within the Ecuadorian Amazon population. The court’s decision will be beneficial for health, the economy and the environment. By eliminating flaring, Ecuador will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 24%.