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Can the Yasuní be Protected through Public Consultation?

This Sunday (Feb. 4) Ecuadorians will go to the polls to choose new policies on several topics in a nationwide referendum. One of the key issues is the future of oil extraction in the Amazonian rainforest. In this article, Danilo Borja and Dr. Conny Davidsen analyze the politics behind the proposals and the consequences for the environment.

A number of innovative efforts to protect the environment have taken place in Ecuador over the last decade. Possibly the most significant is the 2007 Yasuní-ITT (Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini) initiative, which proposed to conserve parts of the Amazonian rainforest by banning the extraction of nearly 900 million barrels of oil in the area. In exchange, the aim was for the international community to grant Ecuador conservation funds amounting to half the estimated oil revenue in the Yasuní reserve.

President Lenín Moreno has reopened the discussion about the future of the Yasuní project and recently called for a plebiscite on it, to be undertaken on February 4th of this year.

Read the full article here