1 Tahrcountry Musings: Four months left to save Yasuní national park, Ecuador

Monday, August 15, 2011

Four months left to save Yasuní national park, Ecuador

It was distressing to read in “Guardian” the plight of the Yasuní national park. Five years ago the state oil company Petroecuador discovered a massive new oil field estimated to yield nearly a billion barrels of oil in Block 31 of the Yasuní national park. It is worth worth a minimum $7-10bn
Extracting the oil would spell doom to one of the last great wildernesses. The park is also home to the the Tagaeri and the Taromenane, two of the world's last uncontacted tribes. The park has more species of plants, animals and insects per hectare than anywhere else on earth.

Ecuador prepared two plans. Plan A contemplated to leave the oil in the ground in perpetuity in return for half of its value from the rich countries of the world. Plan B was for extracting the oil. For the first time in history, a nation was ready to accept a binding agreement not to extract fossil fuels. If countries and individuals rustle up just half the "value" of the 960m barrels of oil – around $3.6bn – then Ecuador would guarantee to leave it there. The money raised would go to Yasuní and Ecuador's other national parks and towards education and hospitals.

If a downpayment of $100m is made by December, the forest and the indigenous groups will be left alone. If the money is not found, then a Chinese oil company will move in and that will be the end of Yasuní.
Around $40m has been raised so far but it is not enough. The environmentalists of Ecuador are making desperate appeals to individuals and Governments of the developed world.

No comments: