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With $116 million pledged, Ecuador moves forward with plan to protect rainforest

Source:  Copyright 2012, Science
Date:  January 14, 2012
Byline:  Eric Marx
Original URL: Status ONLINE

After receiving pledges totaling more than its goal of $100 million by a year-end deadline, the Ecuadorian government last week announced that it would move forward with the so-called Yasuni ITT Initiative, an innovative plan to leave untapped more than 900 million barrels of crude oil beneath a pristine Amazonian nature reserve, in exchange for annual international donations. Last summer, there were fears that Germany would back away from a nearly $50 million pledge to the effort, but $116 million in contributions has now been collected from it, other foreign governments, individuals, and foundations, according to Ivonne Baki, the head of the Yasuni ITT Initiative. "We've created amazing momentum," says Baki. That momentum will be needed as the Ecuadorian government has now set a new goal of securing $291 million in contributions in both 2012 and 2013 to keep the initiative going.

Launched in mid-2010 after 3 years of technical consultation, the Yasuni ITT project was ...

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