Ecuador: Mining Concession Granted in Protected area of Quito Metropolitan District

Posted on August 11, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Enviromental Issues, Latin America Mining

A mining project is planned for this biodiverse area of Quito, despite community opposition. /

There is a rain forest in Pacto, and rivers, waterfalls and pre-Incan remnants of the Yumbo people. This part of the western Andes mountain range ecosystem preserves endemic plant species such as the ivory nut-producing palm and a species of cherimoya fruit in danger of extinction. Eight percent of all of Ecuador’s mammals live in this region. In Pacto, one also finds a small town, with an unhurried, peaceful life. In geopolitical terms, it is governed as an autonomous parish, and is part of the Quito Metropolitan District (DMQ). Because of the value of its ecosystem, the Quito Metropolitan Board in 2011 declared Pacto’s micro-river basins, from the Mashpi, Guaycuyacu and Sahuangal rivers, to be protected natural areas. The declaration decreed that the land be used as an area for conservation and the development of agriculture, livestock and sustainable agroforestry. It explicitly prohibited non-renewable natural resources mining and drilling activities. One year later, this decree seems to have been forgotten.

The Ministry for Non-Renewable Natural Resources granted two mining concessions within the DMQ to the National Mining Corporation (ENAMI): Urcutambo and Ingapi. Together, these concessions amount to more than 4,600 hectares and will directly impact the communities of Pacto and the autonomous parish of Gualea. Besides social effects such as the interruption of daily-life in the communities and migration, the Chirapi River water system, which includes the Pishashi, Chulupe, and Peripe rivers and twenty gorges and ravines, will be harmed. Read Article

Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email