Yasuni - ITT initiative - environmentally principled and innovative
L-R Ambassador Jose Valencia, Mr Xavier Huayamave and Ms Nancy Rubio from the Embassy of Ecuador; Ms Tapiwa Puling, Director Inland Operations, Department of Environmental Affairs, Ms Elise Haber, Deputy Director WSSD, Department of International Relations and Cooperation and Ms Vinny Pillay, Chief Director Overseas Bilateral Co-operation, Department of Science and Technology.
The US $4 billion Yasuni - ITT Initiative fund is relatively small compared to the bailouts that are currently being paid out to banks and other financial institutions said Ambassador Jose Valencia of Ecuador to South Africa.
He was speaking at a breakfast presentation in Pretoria outlining the details of the Initiative.
In 2008 Ecuador announced at the United Nations (UN) that it has made a decision to forego the extraction of 846 million barrels of oil at a current value of approximately U$ 7 billion in income that lie underneath the Yasuni National Park, in order to preserve the natural reserve as a legacy.
This pioneering and innovative concept has already raised in the region of US $ 350 million since it was initiated in 2011 and hopes to reach its target over the next five years.
Administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) everyone is eligible to contribute to the fund. The fund is already being used for renewable energy and other social projects.
The Yasuni National Park is where the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) underground oil fields are located.
It is considered as one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and is home to indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation preserving their ancient cultures, traditions and language.
In the spirit of co-responsibility, Ecuador is seeking support for this initiative.
Visit www.yasunisupport.org for further information