Reserva Los Cedros, in western Ecuador, is a true biodiversity gem. This cloud forest is home to around 200 imperiled species, from spider monkeys and jaguars to rain frogs and orchids found nowhere else on Earth. Los Cedros is remote, rugged and stunningly beautiful.
But in 2017 the Ecuadorian government granted two foreign companies mining permits covering 68% of Los Cedros. If mining exploration proceeds, it'll tear down forests, bring destructive roads, and pollute the area's pristine rivers with sediment.
Ecuador's highest court has taken up the case and will soon decide whether the country's constitution, which uniquely recognizes the "rights of nature," applies and whether the government must consult local and indigenous peoples before moving forward.
Tell the mining companies to simply back off — and urge officials to pull all mining permits in Ecuador's protected forests and add Los Cedros to an adjacent national park.