has decided to go ahead with a major oil exploration in an Amazon nature reserve, following a failed conservation plan to persuade foreign countries to pay the country not to drill for oil.
The country’s President Rafael Correa said Thursday he came to his decision after the international community had only donated USD 13.3 million of the 3.6 billion sought for the country not to exploit an area within the Yasuni National Park. " The world has failed us, " Correa said, blaming " the great hypocrisy " of nations who emit most of the world ' s greenhouse gases.
" It was not charity that we sought from the international community, but co - responsibility in the face of climate change. "
Correa continued by saying it was a difficult decision to make, however, it was necessary since not allowing the drilling would be to the detriment of the Ecuadoran people. "With deep sadness but also with absolute responsibility to our people and history, I have had to take one of the hardest decisions of my government," said Correa. After the announcement, indigenous and environmental groups protested against Correa's decision and called for the country's government to hold a national referendum on the fate of Yasuni reserve. The national park is the home to several nomadic Indian tribes and holds an estimated 920 million barrels of oil in three wells. The conservation plan initiated in 2007 aimed at stopping oil exploitation to take place in the area and would reportedly prevent 410 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Oil is Ecuador's main export product, as it produces 538,000 barrels of crude oil each day, of which half is delivered to the United States.