By Fernando Alvarado Espinel | septiembre 14, 2013
On September 4th, the British newspaper The Guardian published an article written by Aberto Acosta entitled ‘Why Ecuador’s president has failed the country over Yasuní-ITT’. In his article, Mr. Acosta pretends to hold the current Administration accountable over the end of the Yasuni-ITT initiative. This is untrue.
By proposing the Yasuni-ITT initiative to the world, the Ecuadorian government was making the largest contribution towards the fight against climate change. However, for this revolutionary initiative to be viable, the international community had to contribute at least $3.6 billion, amount which represented, at the time it was launched, close to 50 % of the revenues the country would have perceived from the exploitation of the ITT (Ishpingo, Tambococha, Tiputini). The Ecuadorian government was not asking for charity. The proposal was one that asked the international community to share in the responsibility in the fight against climate change. Ecuador was ready to give up $3.6 billion in oil revenues. The Yasuni initiative was an attempt to awaken global consciences and to generate a new reality where we would all move from discourse to action.
Without having to look for any sort of credit and just for the sake of accuracy, it was President Correa who thought of and proposed the initiative in June 2007. Today, unfortunately, we must say that the world has failed us.
In a clear example of inconsistencies, Mr. Acosta, who is now ‘outraged’ over the end of the Yasuní-ITT initiative, signed an agreement with Venezuela in 2007 for the exploitation of the Yasuní. In a television interview in the same year Mr. Acosta clearly expressed his intention to compromise all of the oil reserves of the ITT fields (please refer to numeral ‘a)’ highlighted).
It is worth noting that in the last presidential elections on February 17, 2013, Mr. Acosta only obtained 3.26 % of the popular vote.
Finally, there are many questions surrounding a commitment with the environment and with the Yasuní. What was Mr. Acosta’s contribution, financial or otherwise to the Yasuní trust? What was the contribution of the British paper The Guardian? What is the percentage of protected areas in the United Kingdom? How many communities in voluntary isolation live in Great Britain? What percentage of their resources did their government allocated to the trust fund for the Yasuni conservation?
We can proudly say that, in Ecuador, 20 % of our country is made up of national parks and natural reserves. Our Constitution protects the rights of uncontacted communities.
Some local and international media outlets, together with political opposition, who never before neither defended nor supported the Yasuní initiative, have suddenly turned into ambientalists. This clearly demonstrates that opportunism and a desire to destabilize the current Administration is the driving force guiding their efforts.