Cash for Environmental Protection
August 2, 2010 § 2 Comments
Over the weekend the Ecuadorian government announced that it would sign a deal with the United Nations Development Program under which donor countries will pay Ecuador for not drilling in the Yasuni National Park.
Yasuni is the country’s largest nature reserve, a UNESCO biosphere site. There are an estimated 846 barrels of oil under the national park and in exchange for a minimum of 3.5 billion dollars (representing ½ of the oil’s value) President Rafael Correa has agreed not to drill in the area rather leaving the area pristine and protecting the environment. Between 1.5 and 1.7 billion dollars had been pledged so far, with Germany (910 million) and Spain (241.8 million) leading the pack of donors that included France, Sweden and Switzerland. Correa further stated that if the international community does not come up with the funds Petroamazonas a division of the state-run Petroecuador would begin development of the area.
This is a new approach by President Correa to protect the environment yet to fund a country the local people of the area that are living in poverty.
Located downriver from the town of Coca, Yasuni is in the heart of the Ecuador’s Amazon and provides wonderful wildlife opportunities. The Yasuni Parrot Lick is a highlight for visitors of visitors to the Amazon Rainforest including those visiting the Napo Wildlife Center and Sacha Lodge.
We can only hope that the international community comes up with the funds to pay-off the local government and protect the Amazon environment.