A mining project that threatened local biodiversity in one of the Earth's most important locations has been stopped by local communities, as the Imbabura Provincial Court ruled against it on March 29th. The court found that the copper mining project had "violated the rights of nature," and now the project has been forced to come to a standstill.
The local communities from Intag Valley, Ecuador, who brought the case to the court, are delighted with the verdict. Speaking on their behalf, lawyer Gustavo Redin made the following statement: "This is an amazing win for the communities of Intag, They have been leading the resistance against large-scale mining projects for years, and this is a sentence that is for the people and for nature. It’s a win for everybody, and it demonstrates that if we want to save really amazing places, like Intag, we can do it. We can save other places that are really important for the world and wildlife.”
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As a result of the ruling, local biodiversity and endangered species, such as the longnose harlequin toad and the brown-headed spider monkey, will now be protected against the harmful impacts of mining. These impacts are often seen in the form of deforestation, contaminated soils, noise pollution, and the potential contamination of other wildlife and nature, such as rivers and streams.
However, impacts can spread even further, with mining projects often contributing to global carbon emissions. So, this is not only a win for the local communities, but it is also a win on a global scale.