ADVISORY: New Report to Reveal European Banks Financing Trade of Controversial Amazon Oil to U.S.

August 5, 2020, Amazon Watch to release research showing banks in Switzerland, France, the Netherlands facilitating trade from Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — North America-based environmental organizations and Amazon Watch will release a report on 12 August 2020 detailing how European banks are financing the trade of controversial oil from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador to international destinations like California. 

WHO: North America-based environmental organizations and Amazon Watch

WHAT: A new report will reveal how European banks are financing the trade of controversial oil from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador to international destinations like California. The top banks detailed in the report are ING Belgium, Credit Suisse, UBS, and BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA in Geneva, Switzerland; Natixis in Paris, France; and Rabobank in Utrecht, Netherlands. A total of 19 banks were assessed.

The report will outline the steps these investment banks must take to reconcile the contradiction between the environmental and social commitments that some have made, and the ways these banks are actively complicit in the impacts of the oil industry on the Amazon rainforest — including oil spills, harm to Indigenous peoples, and climate destruction.

WHEN: 12 August 2020 at 12:01 a.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 3:01 a.m. EDT (New York) / 8:01 a.m. BST (London) / 9:01 a.m. CEST (Geneva)

WHY: The Amazon Sacred Headwaters region of Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and helps regulate essential planetary ecosystem services such as the hydrologic and carbon cycles. The region is home to more than 500,000 Indigenous peoples from over 20 nationalities, including peoples living in voluntary isolation on their ancestral lands. 

New and ongoing oil extraction in the region is a gateway to deforestation and contributes to violations of Indigenous peoples’ rights and can be an existential threat to their survival. Indigenous leaders in the region have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the expansion of the oil industry and other industrial activities in their territories. On Tuesday, 4 August 2020, Indigenous federations in Ecuador launched a global campaign and filed legal actions calling for a moratorium on current crude oil production due to ongoing contamination and future spill risk.


Media contacts:

  • Europe: Denise Puca, Global Strategic Communications Council, (BST, GMT+1)
  • North America: Tyson Miller,, (EDT, GMT-4) and Moira Birss, Amazon Watch, (PDT, GMT-7)
  • South America: Alicia Guzman, (ECT, GMT-5) and Carlos Mazabanda, Amazon Watch, (ECT, GMT-5)

Interviews in English & Spanish available; interviews in French available upon request

ABOUT STAND.EARTH AND AMAZON WATCH is an international nonprofit environmental organization with offices in Canada and the United States that is known for its groundbreaking research and successful corporate and citizens engagement campaigns to create new policies and industry standards in protecting forests, advocating the rights of Indigenous peoples, and protecting the climate. 

Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems. Amazon Watch is also a member of the Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights (Alianza de Organizaciones Por Los Derechos Humanos) a coalition of organizations working together to advocate for human rights in Ecuador and bring justice to the indigenous peoples and communities affected by the recent oil spill. and Amazon Watch are members of the international Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, working alongside allied organizations and Indigenous federations in Ecuador and Peru to draw global attention and support to halt industrial extractivism and protect the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region.