Ecuador's Yasuni-ITT Proposal Recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative - A Step Towards a Sustainable Economy

Republic of Ecuador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

For more information, contact:

Paul Paz y Miño, +1.510.281.9020 x302 or paz@amazonwatch.org


New York – Today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the Ecuadorian proposal “Leaving Ecuador’s Oil in the Ground” which seeks to avoid carbon emissions and save the Yasuni Rainforest has been selected from among close to a thousand other proposals, to be highlighted in the Energy and Climate Change: Protecting Tropical Forests. At the panel, approximately 300 business leaders, philanthropists and governments that have expressed interest in supporting innovative projects, will have the opportunity to financially support the project and join Ecuador’s pioneer proposal.

The vision of this groundbreaking proposal, unprecedented in the history of an oil-dependent country, was announced publicly by President Rafael Correa at the High Level Dialogues of the United Nations and has been received favorably by various governments and organizations in the United States and Europe.

Wallace Global Fund committed $100,000 to the initiative, and joins a growing network of supporters, including Accion Ecologica, Amazon Watch, Earth Economics, University of Maryland, CS Mott Foundation, Pachamama Alliance, and World Resources Institute. The Ecuadorian proposal is estimated at 4.6 billion dollars, and in the first year, will require 360 million dollars. This makes it one of the most ambitious projects presented at the Clinton Global Initiative, both economically as well as politically.

The Ecuadorian initiative proposes to not exploit the most important oil reserves in the country, the Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini (ITT) oil fields, located in Yasuni National Park. Yasuni is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and is home to the Tagaeri-Taromenani indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation

However, Ecuador will forgo close to one billion barrels of heavy crude reserves, and in turn become the first developing country to propose an effective, quantifiable, and verifiable carbon abatement model.

Jon Sohn of World Resource Institute stated that "President Correa's Yasuni proposal offers an opportunity for everyone. The proposal promotes the global benefit of reduced greenhouse gases and a greener economic path in Ecuador."

The Ecuadorian initiative also proposes a new cooperative model between developed and developing countries. It is an opportunity for the world to consider more just and equitable paradigms of economic growth.

Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch said, “The Ecuadorian initiative is a pioneering model of development. It puts Ecuador on a solid path towards economic and ecological sustainability.”

Effectively, Ecuador seeks to become the first country to demonstrate that it is possible to implement a more equitable and sustainable energy model. Upon implementation of the Yasuni-ITT model, Ecuador will take a giant first step towards becoming the first sustainable economy in Latin America.

In this context, the Ecuadorian Government will promote its Multi-annual Development Plan. This plan looks to resolve the health, education and social service problems of the poorest sectors of Ecuadorian society, and in doing so, generate well-being, equality and social justice.

Regarding the environment, the plan envisions energy diversification and democratization, the promotion of renewable energy, the development of alternative energy projects, especially solar and geothermic, and the promotion of small-scale hydroelectric projects. Another of the objectives of the proposal is to strengthen the service economy towards the promotion of eco-tourism and community tourism, as well as the implementation of an integral plan to provide reparations for social and environmental damages in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The selection of the Ecuadorian proposal as one of the most innovative climate change proposals within the Clinton Global Initiative strengthens the will of this government to promote the Yasuni-ITT development model for the benefit of Ecuador and the world.

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