Ecuador’s President threatens to allow Yasuni rainforest to be destroyed by oil companies
mail at vegburner.co.uk
Thu Jan 21 18:16:41 GMT 2010
I saw an Ecuadorian activist describe the deal, which the president is
now moving away from, as something special and ground breaking. Funds
to protect the forest were to be provided outside of a carbon market
mechanism avoiding potential problems tied to using such systems.
The rainforest in Yasuni National Park and the neighboring
Ispingo-Tambococha-Tibutini-Territory (ITT) along the upper Amazon river
is still largely intact. It is home to the indigenous Huaorani people
and several communities who live in voluntary isolation. Scientists have
described Yasuni as the region with the highest biodiversity per hectare
worldwide. 664 different species of trees alone have been found on a
The rainforest is also of immense importance for the water cycle and the
climate. Each hectare of rainforest stores around 200 tonnes of carbon.
If the heavy oil was exploited and burned, a further 410 million tonnes
of carbon would be emitted and would accelerate global warming.
All those reasons support leaving the rainforest intact and the oil
under the ground. This is why the government offered two years ago to
leave 850 million barrels of oil untouched, provided they could get
At the international level, Ecuador’s initiative has found support. In
June 2008, the German Parliament called on the Government to support the
project. The government carried out a feasibility study in 2008/0. Apart
from Germany, Spain, Belgium, France and Sweden are reported to have
offered substantial payments and 15 other countries have declared an
interest. For several months,the Ecuadorean government has been in
negotiations with the UN Development Fund for a UN fund which was to be
signed at the end of January.
Now, however, initiative is in serious danger. On 9th January, Ecuador’s
President Rafael Correa announced in his weekly radio address that oil
exploitation would start despite all. He is dissatisfied that the fund
is not be personally managed by him and that he is to have no control
over how to spend the money. The most important supporter of the
inititiative in the government and the negotiating team resigned on 11th
and 12th January as a result of this announcement, including Foreign
Minister Falconi. Global greed for the black gold and for quick profits
could now win against reason. The nature paradise, the people living in
it and the global climate are under threat.
The international initiative ‘Amazonia por la Vida’
<http://www.sosyasuni.org/en/index.php> and prominent individuals in
Ecuador call on people to write to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa.
Please take part in our email action and demand that the precious
rainforest must remain unharmed and that the oil stay under the ground.
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