Tag Archives: Yasuni National Park

20 February 2014

Ecuador negotiated oil deal with Chinese bank in spite of commitment to protect Yasuni national park

The Guardian reports that Ecuador pursued a secret 1 billion US dollar deal with a Chinese bank to extract oil from under the Yasuni national park in the Amazon, while at the same time committing to a high-profile project to keep the ITT oil in the ground in exchange for international donations. The government of Ecuador abandoned the Yasuni-ITT Initiative last year, but according to a former ambassador of the initiative, Atossa Soltani, from NGO Amazon Watch, the negotiations with China raise doubts about whether Ecuador was ever truly committed to the plan to protect the Amazon.

An Ecuadorian government document, titled China Development Bank Credit Proposal, clarifies that the oil fields are meant to be explored by two state-run Chinese firms. Ecuador’s president Correa stated that Ecuador abandoned the Yasuni-ITT initiative due to a lack of donations – over 2 million US dollar in the government trust and slightly less than 10 million US dollar in a trust established and administered by the UN Development Programme, in spite of a final target of 3.6 billion US dollar. Others blame Ecuador’s relationship with China and pressure from the country’s oil sector, in which Chinese companies have a near monopoly.

Source: The Guardian | Ecuador pursued China oil deal while pledging to protect Yasuni, papers show

23 August 2013

Ecuador abandons co-responsibility conservation plan

Ecuador announced its plans to re-start oil drilling in the Amazonian Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with the highest biodiversity per square kilometer in the Amazons. The decision comes after the collapse of a pioneering conservation plan that was designed to compensate Ecuador for an oil moratorium in Yasuni through raising funds, corresponding to expected oil revenues, from international donors.

According to the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, the plan had sought co-responsibility in the face of climate change. An opinion posted on the Gulf Times’ website on 20 August argued that the protection of Yasuni is not just Ecuador’s responsibility as the rest of the world also benefits from the oxygen and fresh water generated from the park.

Source: The Guardian | Yasuni: Ecuador abandons plan to stave off Amazon drilling
Source: RFI | Correa anuncia explotación petrolera del Parque Yasuní, reserva mundial de la biósfera
Source: Gulf Times | Protection of Yasuni National Park is a Joint Responsibility