On August 20, 2023, the people of Ecuador are called to a referendum which is historical to the world: they will decide whether oil exploration will be expanded into the heart of the Amazon rainforest or banned there forever. In Yasuní National Park, the region in question, more species are found on a single hectare of land than in the entire North American continent.
The referendum is the successful result of a long-standing political and legal struggle of the urban youth movement YASunidos against the Ecuadorian state. It also offers a very concrete opportunity for action here in Europe for all those who are increasingly frustrated by the annual UN climate negotiations and European climate policy. We can establish a small piece of climate justice and contribute to the preservation of a hot spot of global biodiversity by making a donation to the Save Yasuni Campaign.
Oil companies and the neoliberal Lasso government are using all means to keep Ecuadorians from voting for the rights of nature through a fear campaign. Without oil exports, the small country will go broke, they say. But they hide the fact that Ecuador's oil reserves are running out anyway and that oil production in the Yasuní is not even profitable because of the poor quality of the oil.
The broad alliance for the Yasuní National Park therefore urgently needs donations to be able to carry out a successful counter-campaign. Only if the oil production is stopped by a democratic decision in August, there will be room to expand sustainable management. The preservation of the Amazon region is of utmost importance for the global ecological balance!
YASunidos and its allies (environmentalists, feminists, indigenous people, urban cyclist initiatives, oil workers, students and activists) stand for a generation fighting for a livable future in dignity. They take social responsibility for a new balance with nature and stand up for a very concrete response of Ecuador to global warming and species extinction, which has a model character worldwide.
in 2007, the small Latin American country made a revolutionary proposal: The Yasuní ITT initiative implied that Ecuador would commit to keeping 846 million barrels of oil underground, which would have avoided the emission of 400 million tons of carbon dioxide. In exchange, the country was to receive economic compensation from the international community of US$ 3.6 billion, 50% of what, it was said, could have been obtained as income if the oil was exploited. A brilliant idea, for all current and future generations alike.
The Yasuni-ITT Initiative was widely supported by different countries such as Germany and Spain, celebrities (Leonardo diCaprio, Al Gore, Desmund Tutu, and Vandana Shiva) and organizations such as the UN Development Program (UNDP), the EU and the World Resource Institute. In the meantime, Ecuador also included the concept of Rights for Nature in their constitution.
When the initiative was cancelled six years later, US$ 13 million had been collected, barely 0.37% of what was expected. In August 2013, the government backed off from the proposal and gave way to the drilling in the Ishpingo region. Promises to do this in the most environmentally friendly way have been ineffective: statistically, Ecuador experiences two oil spills every week. In 2020 and 2022, whole pipelines broke and tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil leaked into the Amazon River.
Save Yasuni Now: https://www.save-yasuni-now.eu/en/homepage