SAVE PLAYA NEGRA, SAVE MOMPICHE!

Playa Negra is a unique beach on the Ecuadorian coast.  Its name (Black Beach) derives from its shimmering black sand, which is rich in titanium and other valuable minerals. This unique ecosystem used to be an important turtle nesting area and also home to special sub-species of crustaceans and the feeding grounds of a broad spectrum of coastal and marine birds.

UNTIL ONE YEAR AGO, PLAYA NEGRA WAS BEING DESTROYED BY ILLEGAL MINING - WE ALL HELPED SUSPEND THE ACTIVITY; BUT THE MINERS HAVE NOT GIVEN UP AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE "UNWILLING" TO DECLARE THE DEFINITIVE CANCELATION OF THE THE MINING PERMITS (2)


Mompiche's economy depends on tourism. Playa Negra is the most visited tourist attraction in the area, and as such is fundamental for the sustainability of the local economy and the well being of its population. The uncontrolled and illegal extraction of the beach's extraordinary sand devastated nature and hurt people in Mompiche, Portete and neighboring villages.



The community of Mompiche has fought hard with success against the miners and ineffective regulatory government agencies. We have managed to stop mining for over one year. The National Anti-Corruption Committee and Accion Ecologica, the Ecuadorian equivalent of Greenpeace, have thrown their support behind the community.  BUT THE MINERS STILL LURK IN THE HALLS AND OFFICES OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - their goal is to return to Playa Negra and continue with this mindless activity with little thought given to its consequences:  -- the destruction of life, the destruction of the local economy, and the exportation and concentration of wealth.

OUR EFFORTS ARE HAVING A POSITIVE EFFECT ON LIFE -- 

In response to our repeated observation that Playa Negra was important to coastal-marine life, particularly SEA TURTLES, the institutions replied - "Prove it; we have no evidence and we have monitored it for four years. Well, here we have the proof, in spite of years of destruction, life  Playa in Negra can make a comeback. Our own monitoring efforts have documented the presence of Turtle tracks on the beach - but we had yet to find a nest for the simple reason that the mining activity lowered the level of the beach to the point that the turtles no longer had dry sand areas where to lay their eggs.

This all changed two weeks ago when we were fortunate to find a turtle nest that had miraculously survived. We counted over 50 tracks of baby turtles on the sand and observed another 30 or so making their perilous journey from nest to water (see video). It is indeed wonderful that a nest survived when virtually all of Playa Negra has been seriously affected by mining. How many more tried to "nest" in Playa Negra?  - The nest was in a small area of beach measuring about 3X3 meters (9X9 feet). Perhaps the only space where the nest could have survived.

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This proves that: 1) Playa Negra is importing for turtle nesting; 2) Given an opportunity and time - considerable time - life can return to Playa Negra and it can go back to being an important motor of the local tourist economy.  We need to purge Playa Negra from mining.

WE ARE ONE STEP FROM FINAL VICTORY BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!   ARCOM the Ecuadorian entity responsible for regulating mining activities have engaged in multiple stalling maneuvers and have thus far avoided making the decision they have and will make: remove mining concessions from Playa Negra and recognizing its unique ecological and economic roles.  The community has engaged a team of lawyers who have worked on a pro-bono. However, confronting with legal means the machiavellian and dishonest maneuvers of ARCOM and the inefficacy of the Ministry of Environment is requiring resources that we do not have.

FRIENDS - WE CAN DO THIS!!!  WE ARE ONE STEP AWAY FROM SAVING A CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM FROM THE MADNESS ENGENDERED BY GREED. BUT WE NEED TO APPEAL TO YOU FOR HELP ONCE AGAIN -- PLEASE BE A PART OF THIS VICTORY - WE HAVE PUT UR NECKS ON THE LINE -- IT WILL BE GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL, YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR CONSCIENCE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY LIFE IN GENERAL. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Useful links:
Salven a la Playa Negra (on Facebook)
Accion Ecologica Ecuador (on Facebook)
  • Anthony Stocks 
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Organizer

Joao Stacishin de Queiroz 
Organizer
Miami, FL
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