Ecuador allows oil drilling in UNESCO reserve in Amazon, home to indigenous avoiding contact

By Agence France-Presse

The license comes just days after a petition for a referendum on the project was rejected by the country’s election authorities.

The action, signed by Environment Minister Lorena Tapia, gives a state company, Petroamazonas, rights to develop an oil field in part of the forest designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Home to two indigenous tribes that have resisted contact with the outside world, the rainforest park covers an expanse of more than 9,800 square kilometers [3784 square miles] between two rivers.

The field, known as Tiputini, is part of a vast bloc that lies partially within the park with proven reserves of 920 million barrels of crude.

Petroamazonas was also granted a license to develop the Tambococha field, which lies outside the park but within the same oil development bloc.

Yasunimos, an environmentalist group, has fought government plans to open the park to oil development, gathering what it said were nearly 728,000 signatures on a petition to put it to a referendum.

But on May 9, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council invalidated half the signatures and rejected the petition, clearing the way for Thursday’s action.

The decision, however, could be appealed to the country’s constitutional court.

In October, Ecuador’s Congress approved a government plan to develop the Yasuni oil reserves, on the promise that revenues would be used to eradicate poverty.

From Physorg: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-ecuador-oil-amazon-reserve.html

4 thoughts on “Ecuador allows oil drilling in UNESCO reserve in Amazon, home to indigenous avoiding contact”

  1. an error in this piece. 9800 sq km = 3784 sq miles NOT 6090 sq miles. You can’t just convert km to miles because they are square kilometers, he said pushing his nerd glasses back up his nose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *