Image ©Dallas Krentzel

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has announced that oil drilling will soon begin in untouched parts of the Yasuni National Park in the Amazon rainforest. Correa launched a plan in 2010 that aimed to raise $3.6 billion in funds for the nation, and in doing so save the parkland from oil exploration. But, with only $13 million raised from international investment, Correa claims that the only choice he has is to give the green light for drilling.

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Correa’s decision has spurred a slew of protests outside the presidential palace in Quito. It is said that over 78% of the local people are against the president’s decision to begin drilling, as it will affect indigenous communities living on the park’s grounds. Correa stated that the drilling will only effect 1% of the 3,860 square mile park, but will unleash 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the course of the oil drilling process.

Despite being supported by the United Nations, the Yasuni-ITT trust fund did not garner the attention that Correa hoped it would. The trust was to raise about half of the value of the oil reserves in the park, which would be incentive enough to cease the drilling plan. Correa sought investors all over the globe, sighting that it would be a global investment in offsetting further climate change.

Correa says he had no choice but to relent, and sign over for the liquidation of the Yasuni-ITT trust fund, which would null the initiative. Authorities have no said when drilling will commence.

Via BBC News

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