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Join the Indigenous Waorani Resistance Against Oil Development | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Forest fighters: On June 25, more than fifty Waorani leaders and community members gathered outside of the Presidential Palace in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito to call on people around the world to “Stand with the Amazon,” sending a warning to the government—which is trying to sell their land to fossil fuel companies—by turning in the signatures of over 122,000 people who have signed the Waorani people’s urgent declaration in defense of their rainforest territory. (Photo credit: Amazon Frontlines)

Amazon Frontlines: On April 26, the Waorani people of Ecuador won a historic court ruling protecting half a million acres of their territory in the Amazon rainforest from being earmarked for oil drilling. The ruling voids the consultation process with the Waorani undertaken by the Ecuadorian government in 2012, indefinitely suspending the auctioning of their lands to oil companies. The verdict also disrupts the contemplated auctioning of 16 oil blocks that cover over 7 million acres of indigenous territory, providing an invaluable legal precedent for other indigenous nations fighting to protect their lands from development. But the government’s appeal threatens this historic verdict and the land that it aims to protect.
>>>Tell the Ecuadorian government to respect the court’s ruling and the Waorani’s decision to not sell their land.

Farmworker Justice: Farmworkers and their families are regularly exposed to high levels of pesticides in the fields where they work and in the communities where they live. Their exposure results in thousands of reported pesticide poisonings, illnesses and injuries each year. Unfortunately, farmworkers’ children cannot avoid exposure due to the proximity of their homes, schools and playgrounds to the fields where pesticides are applied, and are exposed to chlorpyrifos through airborne drift, water contamination and residues on their parents’ work clothes. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in residential settings because it posed unacceptable risks to young children. But farmworkers and their children across the country are still exposed to chlorpyrifos due to its use on apples, strawberries, broccoli, cherries, corn, almonds, citrus fruit, Christmas trees and other products. The EPA’s double standard on the health of farmworkers and their children must end.
>>>Urge the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress to ban all agricultural uses of the highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

PETA: Breaking eyewitness footage shows elephants who were forced to participate in the cruel Chitwan Elephant Festival in Nepal being repeatedly struck and gouged with bullhooks—spear-like weapons with a sharp hook on one end—and their ears being violently yanked. Mahouts (handlers) also beat frightened elephants with other weapons, such as sticks and makeshift wooden knives. One mahout can be seen repeatedly jabbing a baby elephant behind the ear to force her to “play” football. Right after the match, eyewitnesses saw that she was suffering from several fresh, painful and bloody wounds. Since hearing from activists, Renault, MINISO, Carlsberg Group, United Beverage, Kumari Bank, Mega Bank, JGI, Chaudhary Group, Everest Insurance and Hotel Seven Star have cut ties with the event. However, Mount Everest Group and NRNA, which sponsored or advertised at the festival last year, have no plans to stop supporting it.
>>>Tell Mount Everest Group and NRNA to stop supporting the cruel Chitwan Elephant Festival.

Cause for concern…

Japan’s shame: Despite international criticism, Japan has resumed commercial whaling for the first time since 1986. Whales were driven to the brink of extinction in the 19th and early 20th century due to overhunting. Though the International Whaling Commission (IWC) issued a moratorium on whaling in 1986, Japan has continued to kill whales under the guise of scientific research, while whale meat has been sold in the country. Last year, Japan withdrew from the IWC, so it is no longer subject to its rules. Cetaceans—whales and dolphins—are among the most intelligent animals in the world. They possess complex communication skills, cooperative lifestyles and social interactions and learning. Japan “is out of step with the international community,” said Sam Annesley, executive director of Greenpeace Japan. (Photo credit: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service via Global Panorama/Flickr).

Round of applause…

Nothing but net: Divers release a seal entangled in derelict fishing gear, a common problem that leads to injury or death for many marine species not targeted by the fishing industry, including whales, dolphins, seals, turtles and marine birds. Last month, volunteers with the California-based nonprofit Ocean Voyages Institute traveled on a crane-outfitted cargo sailboat from Hawaii to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where they retrieved 40 tons of abandoned fishing nets during a 25-day expedition. “Our success should herald the way for us to do larger clean ups and to inspire clean ups all throughout the Pacific Ocean and throughout the world,” said the group’s founder Mary Crowley. “It’s not something that we need to wait to do.” (Photo credit: NOAA Marine Debris Program/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“I find it abhorrent to see a whale being slaughtered and do nothing but bear witness.” —Paul Watson