Mining company pressing to enter Ecuador’s Los Cedros Protected Forest

By Ana Cristina Basantes

For nine months, the communities near Ecuador’s Los Cedros Protected Forest have been unable to fully celebrate a win in a provincial court to protect the forest. The decentralized autonomous government of Cotacachi, a canton in Imbabura province, had filed the lawsuit in 2018 against Ecuador’s national mining company, ENAMI EP, and the Ministry of the Environment to halt mining exploration in Los Cedros. On June 19, 2019, the court ruled in their favor. It appears the celebration will have to wait.

The company continued exploring within the forest, which is home to at least 216 species of birds, 180 species of orchids and 600 species of moths. In addition, ENAMI appealed the decision to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in Ecuador and the one that is responsible for the interpretation and administration of the constitution.

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