Since we published the 'Viva Yasuní: Life vs Big Oil' magazine two months ago, the NI has done something we haven't done for a very long time. We have thrown ourselves head-first into running a campaign.
Then the editors dropped everything to produce in (almost) record time a special magazine about the people of Yasuní and the horrible situation they find themselves in: their homes and livelihoods perched atop a billion barrels of oil, with the oil companies clamouring to start drilling.
Having researched the situation, and discovered such beauty in this pristine
patch of Amazon rainforest, and such injustice in the way it is about to be destroyed, we felt we couldn't leave it there. The people of Yasuní have asked the international community for our help. It's our responsibility to give it.
So now the NI office has been transformed into the Yasuní Green Gold international campaign headquarters (it's not as grand as it sounds!) Ginés and Georgie have moved to Oxford to work with us for a while, and we are busily organising our grand launch event in London on 6th October. We are working out a strategy for putting pressure on the wavering Ecuadorian Government to honour their initial pledge to find a way of saving Yasuní from an oily fate – and pondering how on earth to persuade the British Government to do the right thing for once. We are ringing up NGOs and selected bigwigs to persuade them to get involved in the campaign, and Ginés and Georgie are putting together their whizzy new website, organizing volunteers and co-ordinating actions in Spain and elsewhere.
We ran a workshop a couple of weeks ago at the Camp for Climate Action which was attended by Ecuadorian and Brazilian activists amongst others. At that point I realised what a buzz there is about this campaign - it's really captured peoples' imagination. Hell, the band playing that night even stopped their set to encourage everyone in the audience to get involved in saving Yasuní! We're increasingly getting the feeling this could get huge...
We are thrilled that Anita Rivas, the inspirational mayor of Orellana in
the Yasuní region who so kindly allowed us to use the photos for the book will be coming over to speak at the launch, and hope we
can generate enough publicity for her voice to be heard by the people who need to hear it.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the campaign. If you want to be sent latest news and campaign actions as they occur,
please sign up to the NI email list.
In the meantime, if you haven't already donated a book, please do.