Citizens in action! participation rights as a new horizon to protect nature’s rights in Ecuador

Natural resources are of utmost importance for exercising the rights of the entire world population and the countries’ socio-economic development. In Ecuador, a wave of discomfort with exploiting natural resources was raised. What have citizens done to address this concern? First, the citizenry has activated plebiscites to ban mineral exploitation, which had a substantial local endorsement and bound the authorities to adopt frameworks and public policies to protect water sources. On the other hand, several indigenous communities claimed in the judiciary that the Ecuadorian State did not consult them prior to authorizing natural resource exploitation. They also succeeded in their mission to revoke mining concessions in their territories. Hence, the power to shift the management of natural resources towards protecting collective human rights is under the people’s control.