Can Ecuador’s innovative pay-to-protect plan work to save the endangered Yasuni National Forest? It’s an innovative approach, and one that deserves a closer look as the climate talks in Copenhagen approach.
Will Ecuador’s plan to raise money for not drilling oil in the Amazon succeed?
Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park is full of wealth: it is one of the richest places on earth in terms of biodiversity; it is home to the indigenous Waorani people, as well as several uncontacted tribes; and the park’s forest and soil provides a massive carbon sink.
However, Yasuni National Park also sits on wealth of a different kind: one billion barrels of oil remain locked under the pristine rainforest. While drilling for oil has brought huge profits–the commodity is Ecuador’s top export–it has also brought environmental destruction and conflicts with indigenous groups, including a legal one between several tribes and Chevron highlighted by the new film Crude.
Read more here, and while you’re at it, I encourage you to check out Monga Bay’s beautiful and informative website.