Defending Choco Forests

E-LAW partners with La Chiquita residents
E-LAW partners Manolo Morales and Silvana Rivadeneira from ECOLEX pose (at center) with residents of La Chiquita. (PHOTO: Meche Lu, E-LAW U.S.)

E-LAW U.S. Environmental Research Scientist, Meche Lu, traveled to the Choco region of western Ecuador to help protect the African-Ecuadorian community of La Chiquita. People in the community complain that a nearby palm oil plantation and palm oil processing facility is polluting their community and the nearby creek with pesticides and factory effluent. E-LAW U.S. and ECOLEX are making progress in joint efforts to educate communities in the Choco region about protecting biodiversity and public health from polluting palm oil facilities. The government of Ecuador has been seeking to expand the palm oil industry. Now, with help from E-LAW and ECOLEX, communities are starting to enforce the law and challenge abuses of the palm oil industry. This is the first time that a local community in Ecuador has pursued legal action to clean up polluting palm oil plantations and mills!

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With help from E-LAW and ECOLEX, communities in the Choco region of Ecuador are challenging pollution from the palm oil industry.