Film Title : All eyes on the Amazon
Duration : 00:41:00 Filmmaker : Andrea Marinelli Theme : Community, Pollution
Synopsis : In the 1970s the start of oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon engendered expectations that the country was entering a new era of prosperity. Over the following four decades, hydrocarbons have marked the history of Ecuador affecting economic fluctuations, following oil price cycles in the global market together with changes in domestic taxation and ownership regimes, and stirring periodically renewed hopes of development as well as discontent. The documentary shows some of the impacts generated by oil extraction in the Orellana and SucumbÃos provinces of the Ecuadorian Amazon and the associated social mobilization of the indigenous and mestizo population. The focus is on frugal but advanced GIScience, drones, smartphones and bespoke apps that are being deployed by community members living next to oil installations to produce evidence on the impacts of the oil industry. The activity is a result of a project combining citizen science, scholarly activism, indigenous and mestizo mobilization. The activities bring together social movements, academics and some (mostly local) government authorities that take advantage of each other’s expertise and co-develop tools to collect and communicate evidence on the local impacts of oil extraction. The evidence produced has been used for campaigning at various levels addressing the companies, governments and public opinion. Taken together, the tools and strategies deployed are instruments in the David and Goliath slow struggle for environmental justice that pit local communities and activists against the interests of extractive industries.