Many of RIC's actions in the early decades were carried by Rainforest Action Groups (RAGs) all over the country. The original Melbourne RAG was hugely active and successful between 1985-1992. Most significantly, they campaigned against the importation of tropical rainforest hardwoods from Malaysia, managing to reduce this by 80% (hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of timber).
In May 2018, MRAG was resurrected by a small group of dedicated volunteers after a couple of kick ass fundraisers for Ecuador's rainforests - raising around $1700 and $11,000 respectively. In fact, their first birthday was celebrated only weeks ago with a ¡Fiesta! involving the debut musical theatre 'BHP Man' and prime time festival band Miss Colombia - raising another $1700-odd for Ecuador Endangered!
Auspiced by and working alongside RIC, the new look MRAG has taken on the main part of driving the Ecuador Endangered Campaign and has achieved an impressive amount of work over the past year!
- Pulling off four direct actions in Melbourne in the second half of 2018: two at BHP's head office and two at the IMARC (International Mining and Resources Conference) at the Crown, along with LASNET (Latin American Solidarity Network).
- Creating interactive and up-to-date maps of all the Australian mining concessions in Ecuador, including Google Earth overlays with indigenous territories and protected forest areas.
- Creating sixteen long and summary reports about each of the five major Australian mining companies who have concessions in Ecuador. These have been translated into Spanish and are being distributed far and wide by local environmental and human rights organisations as we speak. All PDFs can be found on MRAG's website (see for example, summary of BHP in Ecuador).
- Allocating thousands of dollars from the Ecuador Endangered crowdfund to frontline organisations in Ecuador and towards building the campaign in Australia. Latest donations have gone to grassroots organisations DECOIN, OMASNE and Caminantes for resource development, community mobilisation and campaign-building in Ecuador.
- Joining the global alliance Yes to Life, No to Mining
Check out MRAG's website for more details, newsletters, reports and maps!
Updates will also appear on this page as the plot thickens with ongoing threats to Ecuador's forests and indigenous and rural peoples.