Referendum restricts oil drilling in Yasuni

Since our last newsletter, Ecuador held a historic referendum which limited the ability of former president Correa to return as president, but it also entailed restrictions on oil drilling in Yasuni Nationa Park. Lots of discussion about what this might mean in practice.

From Mongabay: 

  • In a recent referendum, 67.5 percent of Ecuador’s voting population voted in favor increasing Yasuní National Park’s Intangible Zone by at least 50,000 hectares and reducing the oil extraction area in the park from 1,030 to 300 hectares.
  • Ishpingo Field, which forms part of Block 43 of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) Initiative, is the only field that has not yet been exploited. Drilling was slated to begin there in mid-2018, but the referendum’s “yes” vote may prevent exploitation.
  • Ishpingo is located on Yasuni’s Intangible Zone, which protects Indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation. Environmentalists hope that a technical commission will be formed to define where the Intangible Zone will expand.


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