Yasuní in Oxford: Linking Local and Global Struggles Against Extractivism

On August 20th, 2023, Ecuador held two groundbreaking referenda against oil drilling in the Yasuní National Park in the Amazonian rainforest and the expansion of metallic mining concessions in the Chocó Andino, the forests surrounding Ecuador’s capital Quito. But how are these two referenda connected in the larger context of resisting the extraction of natural resources in Latin America?

Join us for a conversation with Scientist Rebellion Abya Yala, an academic community dedicated to combating the climate crisis. After providing context on the Yasuní and Chocó Andino referenda, Ornela De Gasperin, Jorge Forero, and David Cañas Sigüenza will speak about the importance of sharing academic knowledge for local communities as well as the responsibilities of the Global North in protecting critical ecosystems like the Yasuní. The discussion will emphasise the link between local and global resistances against extractivism as well as the crucial role academia plays in these struggles.

David Cañas Sigüenza holds a master’s degree on Geospatial Analysis from University College London (UCL). He currently works as Science Advisor for the Interamerican Association of Environmental Defense (AIDA), specializing in environmental impact assessments of the energy sector including mining, oil, and gas.

Jorge Forero holds a PhD in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Kassel. From 2021 to 2023, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Environment and Sustainability of the Simón Bolivar Andean University. He is currently a researcher at the Department of Sociology and Gender Studies of the Latin American School of Social Sciences in Quito, coordinating a project about the relationship between human mobility and the climate crisis in the Andes.

Ornela De Gasperin Quintero holds a PhD in Zoology from Cambridge University and worked as a Post-Doc in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne and at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She currently works as a Researcher at the Institute of Ecology in Mexico (INECOL), and is a member of the CONAHCYT National Laboratory of the Biology of Climate Change.