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Ecuador: Yasuní national park project reaches $300m

$64m has been deposited and $187m pledged to help protect Ecuador's biologically rich rainforest, figures show

Source:  Copyright 2012, Guardian
Date:  November 23, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

More than $300m (£188m) has been promised to stop the exploitation of 846m barrels of oil below the Yasuní national park in Ecuador, one of the world's most biologically rich areas of rainforest, new figures show.

Ecuador's idea to leave the oil in the soil under the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) area of the park and ask the world to compensate it with half its monetary value was hailed as a revolutionary, if idealistic, new conservation idea when it was first proposed in 2007.

But critics doubted whether raising the $3.6bn needed in 13 years would be possible, and accused Ecuador of holding the world, literally, over a barrel.

However, figures released by the UN Development Programme-run Yasuní-ITT initiative shows that while most wealthy governments have declined to contribute, foundations, individuals and cash-strapped regional authorities in austerity-hit Europe have pledged or given over $300m since 2011, when the fundraising drive ...

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