Ecuador Celebrates World Environment Day

Marks First Anniversary of ITT Initiative

Republic of Ecuador

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org


(Washington, DC-) In order to celebrate World Environment Day as well as the first anniversary of the signing on the Ishipingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) Initiative, the Embassy of Ecuador in the United States is please to present the status of this unique initiative.

The Ecuadorian government under President Rafael Correa has stated its intention to forgo extraction of the ITT oilfields, located in the Yasuni National Park, named a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1989, and called “one of the most biodiverse places on earth” by renowned environmentalists Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson.

Ecuador is willing to work with the international community to preserve this unique space by creating a fund that will help ease the burden of the projected forgone oil revenue if this reserve is left intact. President Correa has stated his intentions to leave the ITT reserves unexploited with the help of the international community.

With the goal of managing and channeling donations made by governments, citizens, institutions and international organizations, President Rafael Correa, through Presidential Executive Decree No. 847 signed on January 2, 2008, allowed the creation of a trust fund to transfer all collected contributions to the ITT Initiative.

Similarly, on January 21, 2008, the ITT Technical Secretariat Office was created. Led by former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, Ambassador Francisco Carrion the ITT Initiative has been heavily promoted in the public and private arena at the highest national and international level during an international promotional tour with stops in Vienna, Brussels, Berlin and Madrid during March 2008.

At the same time, efforts have been made to showcase the ITT Initiative at high level international meetings, including the V Summit of Heads of State of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union (Lima, May 16, 2008); the IX Conference of the Parties to the Biological Diversity Convention (Bonn, May 19-30, 2008) and other international meetings.

As a result of these activities, the ITT Initiative currently counts on the invaluable support received from the following individuals and international bodies:

Felipe González, former Primer Minister of Spain.
Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1986, and Senator for life in Italy.
Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil.
Enrique Iglesias, Iberoamerican Secretary General (SEGIB).
Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International.
OPEC, with a declaration during the 148th Meeting of Ministers of Energy and Petroleum, March 5, 2008.

ITT Initiative is planning visits to New York and Washington, DC to garner support from American NGOs and the public sector. Similarly, future events are planned for European countries including Italy, Norway, France and the United Kingdom.

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