Ecuador Begins Drilling for Oil in Pristine Corner of Amazon

(17-09-16).- Last Wednesday, Ecuador began pumping its first crude oil from the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) block in Yasuní National Park,  according to website yasuni.jpg

 “It’s the start of a new era for Ecuadorean oil,” said Vice President Jorge Glas after a tour of the site .

The ITT block of Yasuní National Park became well known abroad because of the Ecuadorean government’s failed initiative to forego drilling for oil in the block if the international community paid half the expected revenue.

The $3.6 billion would have been put into a trust fund overseen by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and focused on funding renewable energy and community projects.

Yasuní is home to a number of indigenous groups, including a couple that have chosen to remain in voluntary isolation from the wider world. Any deeper incursion into the park either by oil companies or illegal settlers and poachers that follow may make this more difficult.

The exploitation of the ITT-block comes with other, often less discussed, impacts: climate change and ocean acidification. Experts believe around 1.67 billion barrels of oil lie beneath the ITT rainforest.


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