Ecuador to Drill in Yasuni NP

In the Summer 2011 AWI Quarterly, AWI reported on the Yasuni-ITT Initiative—whereby the Ecuadorian government sought US$3.6 billion in financial contributions from the international community in exchange for a commitment by Ecuador to forego oil drilling in Yasuni National Park. Comparable in size to Yellowstone National Park, Yasuni is one of the most pristine regions of the Amazon rainforest. It was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 1989.

Alas, in August 2013, President Rafeal Correa announced that the initiative had been abandoned, as only US$13 million had been raised. In May 2014, Environment Minister Lorena Tapia announced that permits for drilling had been signed. Oil production in the park might begin as soon as 2016.

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