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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 31st, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

No oil from the rainforest
Friday, 26 June 2009
Climate Protection (From: Wir Klimaretter   see – www.wir-klimaretter.de/content/vi…) –  Germany wants to pay 50 million US dollars annually into a trust fund so that Ecuador won´t exploit its huge oil reserves in the jungle – writes Gerhard Dilger from Porto Alegre, Brazil, on www.sosyasuni.org/en/(in)

“The Gordian knot is cut,” says Ute Koczy, full of enthusiasm. For two years, the Green member of the German parliament has promoted Ecuador´s proposal to renounce oil production in an especially biodiverse area of the Amazon rainforest – if the international community provides a part of the oil millions which could be obtained though exploitation. Indeed, after the two-day visit of Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Fander Falconí in Berlin, the breakthrough for the Yasuní-ITT Initiative seems at hand.

Erich Stather, State Secretary in the Ministry for Economic Cooperation, suggested that Germany would put up the “first significant contribution” for an international trust fund yet to be created, Falconí said. Details are not yet officially revealed. But according to information obtained by the taz, Stather urged the Ecuadorians to create the fund within a month. In this case, Germany would pay 50 million US dollars annually into the fund set up under the wings of the Inter-American Development Bank or the UN.

Ecuador´s proposal went beyond the rigid market instruments “which so far have been accepted by the international community to combat greenhouse emissions”, Falconí said. The Foreign Minister is sure that biodiversity in the Yasuní National Park as well as two indigenous peoples living there would be protected by the project. In its new development strategy, he added, Ecuador clearly distinguishes between economic growth and human development.

In June 2007, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa proposed to renounce the exploitation of 846 million barrels of oil, in case half of the expected income could be raised from other sources. For the 410 million tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, Ecuador expects to raise, over a period of 20 years, some 7 billion US dollars.
Oil is Ecuador’s main export product, and approximately one-third of the state budget is covered by oil revenues. More than half of the 500,000 barrels of crude exploited every day are done by the state company Petroecuador. The money from the trust fund would go to the preservation of nature, to expansion of renewable energies and social projects, assured Falconí.

After the unanimous support of the Yasuní-ITT initiative by the Bundestag in June 2008, the Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) produced three studies. They show that the value of the CO2 emissions would be significantly lower. But  for the moment, such details are secondary, says Green MP Ute Koczy. “It is much more important that the initiative takes off before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.”

Together with the Madrid city council, the Ecuadorians already have another plan: In late September, an open-air concert featuring bands like Radiohead and Green Day should take place in the Spanish capital, before 300,000 spectators and with live coverage on all five continents. Again, the proceedings would go to the preservation of the rainforest.

(taz, die tageszeitung, Berlin, June 22, 2009 )

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Campaigns:
Several campaigns for gaining support for above initiative will take place the next few months up to Copenhagen in December and further, like:

– 17 september 2009: concerts/events over the world to support the initiative in Madrid, Quito, Buenes Aires, New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Johanesburg. Will be broadcasted all over the world. Entrance is free!

–  September – December presenting and trying to get support from the different governments.

–   December (from 7 till 12): COP 15: Copenhagen: side event, and outside COP15 meeting actions.

writes Lavinia Warnars,

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