Yasuni, black gold against biodiversity
Yasuni is home to living treasures, hundreds of varieties of trees, animals, insects. It is also home to protected indigenous peoples, the Waorani and the Kichwas.
However, Yasuni is threatened for it sits atop almost 20% of Ecuador’s crude oil reserves. Sixty percent of this developing country’s economic resources are based on the exploitation of “black gold”; such a discovery is manna from heaven.
In 2007, the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, launched an innovative project to ward off the threat of 407 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions should the Yasuni oil lake be drilled.
In September 2007, at the United Nations, Correa called for support for the “Yasuni-ITT” project. He promised to leave the Yasuni oil reserves untapped, reserves that are calculated at 846 million barrels.
In return, President Correa proposed that the international community finance at least 50% of revenues that the Ecuadorian state would have received if he chose to exploit the oil.
This unprecedented initiative for the climate, a universal concern, led to an agreement with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), which allowed the creation of a UNDP-administered trust fund dedicated to receiving contributions.
However, time is running out to reach half of the expected $ 10 billion; the actual funds collected are from sufficient. With the current economic crisis, pressure is strong in favor of oil. This is an ecological disaster in the making.
A high-level meeting was held at the United Nations on Friday, September 23, 2011 to revive the Yasuni ITT project, with Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, and President Correa in attendance.
A member of the Fondation Chirac Board of Directors gave a forceful plea in favor of the project to preserve Yasuni. Fadi Nahas did indeed call for an “economy of the heart” that kept in mind future generations. He relayed President Jacques Chirac‘s philosophy, who supports this project that is so true to his values. “The success of the Yasuni is the success of us all, the victory of another way of conceiving the world in the service of humanity,” wrote President Chirac in a letter on July 6, 2011. Letter that was read on his behalf at the meeting during which Fadi Nahas spoke.