The Yasuni-ITT Initiative: forgone but not forgotten!
06 – June – 2014
I'm in Quito, Ecuador, at the moment to see if there is still hope for Yasuni-ITT, see blog The Yasuní-ITT Initiative: forgone, but not forgotten!
But Yasuni seems like a lost case. I'm sorry to write that, but reality seems to be harsh at the moment. Yasuni, the most biodiverse place on the planet with over 100.000 insects per hectare, more tree species per hectare compared to whole North America combined, and with two indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation, seems to be at the verge of destruction.
This, because a recent research with areal photographs shows the destruction of the forest around block 31 (see map and document). This may become the same problem with ITT, situated in the middle of the park and close to indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation. Petroamazonas is constructing roads to exploit block 31, with such a rate and destruction along the road of 60 meters of deforestation, more then the allowed 10 m. This bears me with great worry. Worry for the existence of this pristine park. I have been there, twice, and both times I was amazed with the beauty, within the jungle as well as the bright sky and milky-way shining above us. So I came back to Ecuador once again, to see if there is any hope for the park. But it is with great disappointment that I too have to finally admit there is ample hope that ITT will not be exploited.
Therefore, it is time. Time to stand up! It is time to act for the rights of mother Earth. We are not letting go, and so the story continues: we will set our aims at Yasuni-ITT 2.0 in Ecuador first, to see if we can change the course of history. If that does not work out, we will seek the possibility to implement it in other developing countries with gas and oil reserves in highly biodiverse areas. So, Yasuni is certainly not forgotten. And I hope not forgone either.