Home Forex Ecuadorians vote to ban oil drilling in the Amazon in ‘historic’ referendum

Ecuadorians vote to ban oil drilling in the Amazon in ‘historic’ referendum


Ecuadorians have voted overwhelmingly to ban oil and mining exploration in millions of acres of rainforest, in a historic referendum in the South American nation.

With more than 99% of votes counted, the government declared the result with 64.9% voting yes, and 35.1% no.

The referendum calls for an end to oil, gas and mining activities in almost 11m hectares (27m acres) of rainforest in the southern provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana.

The proposal was put forward by President Rafael Correa, and is part of his bid to end crippling debt and fund social projects, while protecting Ecuador’s environmental heritage against the exploitation of foreign oil companies.

Correa called the result “historic”, and said it showed that Ecuador is “one of the most responsible countries in the world with respect to the environment”.

“This vote was fundamental to protect our constitutional right to preserve the environment, and to take collective care of our natural heritage and of future generations,” he added.

The referendum has been praised by environmentalists around the world for its potential to preserve and protect one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions.

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