Ecuador approves oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest
Last Thursday Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa announced his decision to end the Yasuni ITT Trust Fund, a fund launched in 2010 to keep the government from drilling in the Yasuni National Park's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil field. Correa hoped to raise more than three and a half billion dollars, half of the value of the park’s oil reserves. However, after receiving $13 million from the international community, a mere fraction of that goal, he ended the initiative. Over 75% of Ecuadorians are opposed to oil drilling at Yasuni. The area is home to two indigenous communities and numerous plant species. Ivonne Yanez, an Ecuadorean biologist and founding member of Accion Ecologica and Oilwatch Network, environmental justice organizations, tells us about what’s at stake for Ecuador. (Photo: AP Images).