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LatinNews Daily - 14 September 2021

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In brief: Environmentalists issue warning over Ecuador’s oil expansion

* Ecuadorean environmentalists have pushed back against executive decree 95, signed by President Guillermo Lasso on 7 July, which established a framework to double Ecuador’s oil production to 1m barrels per day. Speaking at an environmental forum, environmentalists from a range of research institutions and NGOs warned that the government’s plans for the oil sector, as well as Ecuador’s rejoining of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in June, would increase the likelihood that extractive projects would be allowed to take place in nature reserves and on indigenous lands. Pedro Bermeo, an environmentalist at the Yasunidos NGO, said that the government is seeking “judicial impunity” for oil companies by “reforming existing rules and regulations so that the process [of launching projects in protected areas] is legal.” Lasso has come under mounting opposition to his planned expansion of the oil sector, with the indigenous association Federación de la Nacionalidad Shuar de Pastaza (Fenash-P) last week demanding the revocation of decree 95.