Amazon Defense Coalition
The Amazon Defense Coalition (Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia) is an Ecuadorian non-governmental organization created on May 16, 1994 and approved by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Social Welfare on June 4, 1998 under ministerial reference #535.
It comprises six principal indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest: the Cofán, the Huaorani, the Kichwa, the Secoya, the Shuar, and the Siona as well as campesino (farmer) migrants to the area. It focuses on regional, national and global environmental and collective rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The ADC structure is focused on training (a three-year integral leadership training course offered to rainforest residents in Orellana and Sucumbíos provinces); legal (legal advice and defence of campesino and indigenous socio-environmental community rights); environmental monitoring (a technical team which monitors and reports on areas and communities that suffer from oil pollution as a result of drilling in the rainforest); and alternative products (promotion of cleaning and energy products that do not harm the environment as well as seeking local sustainable development and biodiversification).
In 1993 the Amazon Defense Coalition brought an environmental clean-up lawsuit against Texaco (incorporated into Chevron Corporation in 2001) in the name of 30,000 rainforest residents in a region the size of Rhode Island. The case was initially heard in a U.S. court in New York City and then moved to Nueva Loja, Ecuador in 2003, and, with a 2011 judgement of $18 billion against the oil giant, is potentially the biggest environmental litigation ever brought against a multi-national corporation.