Andean indigenous aged people peacefully sitting on a street in the Andean town Baños of Cuenca. Photo Credit: ampueroleonardo/Getty Images

Environment Ecuador14. October 2020

People in Ecuador Will Decide on New Mining Projects (Not the Politicians)

Large and medium-scale mines will need the approval of the population to move forward, have ruled the highest court in Ecuador. This decision applies to mining rights not yet granted and not on licensed projects.

“It has been a dream for Cuencans for so many years to be allowed, through popular consultation, to determine the future protection of our water sources,” says Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios. He adds that participation in a referendum on mining will be mandatory.

The government of Cuenca, a city in the country’s highlands, launched a petition for its community to hold a referendum regarding a mining project that threatens nearby water sources. This democratic move led to the court’s decision to allow all communities to have a say in the matter.


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