Magazine article New Internationalist

A Real Alternative to Destroying Our World

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Real Alternative to Destroying Our World

Article excerpt

One of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, and home to many indigenous people, the Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon sits atop vast reserves of crude oil. With transnational oil companies desperate to get their hands on this 'black gold', Ecuador's government has come under increasing pressure to sacrifice Yasuni and its people in the name of economic progress.

But in May 2007, the government, under President Correa, announced that it was willing to leave the oil in the ground - if it received enough financial and political support from the international community to allow the country to transition to a lowcarbon development model. It declared 700,000 hectares of the park legally 'untouchable', set a deadline of December 2008 for the funds to be raised... and waited.

Despite promises of support from Spain, Italy and Germany among others - and several extensions of the deadline - the Yasuni initiative hangs in the balance. Ecuadorian journalist Fabricio Guarnan, who has been following the project since its launch, says that President Correa believes he will reach the $291 million target for donations by the end of 2012 and is trying to put off a decision on the initiative's future until after the country's 2013 elections. …

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