Embajadores del Orinoco is an independent international movement that reunites associations, organizations and members of civil society (in Venezuela and abroad) concerned with the tremendous environmental and human devastation taking place in the Venezuelan Amazon region.
The movement was launched in 2021 by the Oslo-based NGO The Norwegian Venezuelan Justice alliance with initial allies and activities in France, Spain and Germany. Other organizations and countries in Europe and the Americas are joining our Platform from 2022.
Our mission is to denounce the environmental destruction, human rights violations and crimes against humanity caused by illegal mining -which is expanding throughout the Venezuelan Amazon region (an area larger in size than most European countries)- and to actively look for solutions and for international support while empowering grassroots organizations to stop and mitigate the destruction caused by illegal mining at the south of the Orinoco river.
Although it is seldom mentioned, Venezuela in listed as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and the area we are talking about covers half of the country’s territory. This area of the Venezuelan Amazon has tremendous ecological value, being home to numerous species, indigenous communities and natural parks such as Canaima – an UNESCO World Heritage Site the size of Belgium that hosts the unique and millenary tabletop mountains (tepuis) and the world’s highest waterfall (Angel falls). Illegal mining causing the devastation of the Venezuelan Amazon is promoted by the Venezuelan Regime through a Decree issued in 2016 that opened this vast area called Arco Minero del Orinoco (Orinoco Mining Arc) to wild exploitation of gold, diamonds, coltan and other minerals. The Decree that created Arco Minero del Orinoco violates not only the Venezuelan Constitution and laws but also a number of international treaties signed by Venezuela.
We seek to include the protection of our Amazon region and the human and collective rights and welfare of our indigenous communities in the international political agenda by encouraging, amongst others:
- The consolidation of environmental legislation with a broader international reach as well as the enforcement of existing treaties, international principles and (Corporate) Governance Requirements including those specifically related to Supply Chain Due Diligence applicable to conflict minerals;
- The development and support of research projects and the evaluation of concrete actions to help Venezuelan civil society address the harmful effects of illegal mining and related extractive destructive activities.
We care about the collective welfare of the indigenous and creole communities of the Amazon area (without responding to any particular interests) and therefore support initiatives that focus on the research, monitoring and protection of the environment and respect for the life conditions and rights of these communities.
How we work
All our work is on a voluntary basis. To achieve our objective, we rely on two fundamental pillars acting in close collaboration: Venezuelan diaspora groups and allies abroad on the one hand, and Venezuelan civil society within the country, on the other; each focused on their scope of action as illustrated below:
We are organized into Three Working Groups with Members and Allies collaborating across geographies, and a Coordination Team that acts as the Platform’s Direction and Execution body:
Meet the team
We maintain close contact with a number of organizations and groups both in and outside Venezuela and we have Members and Allies in different countries, as well as an enthusiastic group of volunteers in Norway, the country where the Coordination Team is based.
For security reasons, some organizations and individuals prefer to work anonymously, which is why they are not listed here.
MEMBERS are the organizations and groups that have assumed and demonstrated an unwavering and permanent commitment to achieve the objectives of the Platform, devoting considerable time and resources to achieving our goals.
To be a Member, some minimum commitments must be assumed.
ALLIES are the organizations and people who provide their valuable support with advocacy activities, activism, denunciation, dissemination and exchange of information or who collaborate with projects or initiatives on a specific thematic, geographic or temporary basis.
Allies must sign our Declaration of Adherence.
Allies can become MEMBERS by submitting a request to the Coordination Team committing to meet the minimum requirements to be MEMBERS.
We invite anyone interested in defending the Venezuelan Amazon to join our movement!
Contact us at Emborinoco@gmail.com