Ecuador Breaks Its Amazon Deal
The green light to drill in one of the world’s most biologically significant areas will come at an incalculable cost to Yasuní’s biodiversity and the indigenous groups that live there.
June 11, 2014 | Kevin Koenig | Source: The New York Times
Quito, Ecuador – In 2007, Ecuador pledged to refrain from oil drilling in the Amazon’s Yasuni National Park in exchange for financial compensation from several foreign governments. The so-called Yasuni-ITT initiative, named for the park’s Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini oil fields, which together contain some 846 million barrels of heavy crude, sought to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, prevent deforestation and protect one of the world’s most biodiverse areas. To offset the renounced revenue, then estimated at over $7 billion, Ecuador requested $3.6 billion to be paid over a period of 13 years by some of the world’s richest nations. It was the first time a country had proposed keeping such a large reserve permanently in the ground.