Rainforest Vs. Oil Reserves: Will Preservation Prevail?

With significant oil reserves in its rainforests and rampant poverty, Ecuador has a dilemma. The country's president is asking the international community to compensate the country for its plans to protect the rainforest by not drilling for the oil.

"Yasuni National Park – 2.5 million acres in the Ecuadorian Amazon – is home to some of the world's most diverse communities of birds, amphibians, insects, and trees. There are nearly as many species of trees in a single hectare (2.5 acres) of the Yasuni as in the entire United States and Canada combined. But it's also home to some of Ecuador's largest untapped oil fields. And with nearly 40 percent of Ecuador's people living in poverty, revenue from the estimated 930 million barrels under the ground in the oil block known as the ITT (Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha) would give a significant boost to the country's economy."

"In a radical shift from the traditional politics of oil timed with the United Nations' World Environment Day on Tuesday, Mr. Correa is asking the international community to come up with a viable plan to compensate Ecuador for not exploiting the ITT. If foreign governments, businesses, and environmental organizations match half of the projected revenue for 10 years worth of oil extraction, Ecuador will not allow drilling in the region."

Full Story: Ecuador invites world to save its forest

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