Ecuador to Begin Drilling in Yasuni National Park

Last month the Ecuadorian government abandoned its attempt to establish a trust to keep from drilling for oil in the Yasuni National Park. The trust sought the sizable sum of 3.6 billion dollars from oil-dependent international governments. As compensation, nations would have the satisfaction of knowing the nearly 4,000 square miles of forested land would remain a protected ecosystem. In essence, President Raphael Correa was asking the world to pay the country not to drill for oil in the Amazonian Rain Forest. The government mustered $13 million, a fraction of the desired amount. Last month President Correa, declared the international community “failed” Ecuador. However, it appears the Ecuadorian government’s plan was one made to fail. For decades, Ecuador has boasts a heavily oil-based economy, in spite of an unresolved legal suit against Chevron stemming from past contamination. Currently, Ecuador is the fifth largest producer in Latin America with most of its oil being sold to the United States. President Correa’s decision to drill in Yasuni National Park seems to be another case of a government expanding its economic interests at the expense of its populace and its ecology. All the while, environments, be they frack-fearing communities in Central North Carolina or those thousands of miles south in the most diverse ecosystem on the planet remain subject to the economic and ecological exploitations of nations dependent upon fossil fuels, of which the United States is a chief culprit. NCEJN remains dedicated to working against threats to the environment and vulnerable communities, be they local or global.

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