Ecuador’s Yasuni-ITT Initiative

by on Thursday, 12 January 2012

Some very important news was just announced for the country of Ecuador!

I came to live in Ecuador just slightly over a year ago from Costa Rica to become the ISV Ecuador Tour Manager, and I had never heard of the Yasuni-ITT initiative until a little after I arrived here.

As it happens, the Yasuni-ITT initiative is a proposal presented to the United Nations General Assembly by the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in September of 2007.  In this proposal, Ecuador is offering to keep from exploiting close to 850 million barrels of crude oil found in deposits in the Ichpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini section of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.  But not only is Ecuador willing to give up something in excess of US $3.6 billion by not exploiting this oil, it is also refraining from releasing about 407 million metric tons of CO2 into the air in the process.

Another important matter to keep in mind is that there are indigenous cultures that live in voluntary isolation in these parts of the park.  Other than deforestation, oil exploitation is the biggest cause of fear and threat for the subsisting lifestyles of such groups as the Tagaeri and the Taromenane.

Ecuador has asked the International Community to help raise a fund (managed by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the United Nations Development Program) equivalent to half the profits of exploiting this oil, which amounts to about 20% of Ecuador’s oil resources.  This money would be used to look for, develop, and implement renewable energy resources in Ecuador.

Initiatives of this kind should not only be supported by developed countries, they should set an example to the rest of the world of how, regardless of your economic status in the International Community, everyone can work towards a better world.

Learn more about the Yasuni-ITT initiative at HERE or HERE.

Also, raise your awareness on the issues of the Ecuadorian Amazon oil exploitation and the impacts on the indigeous Huaorani people by reading “Savages” by Joe Kane (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995).  A fantastic read that is deeply concerning yet inspirational at the same time.

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