Ecuador Scraps Yasuni No Oil Drilling Plan

Ecuador a few years ago agreed to set aside Yasuni National Park from oil drilling: for a price. Rafael Correa had asked for $3.6 billion but the by the end of 2012, the fund had only $6.5 million in it. Now, the government looks to go forward with plans on limited oil drilling, with environmentalists mobilizing in protest. This from NPR:

The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.

The oil sits under the Yasuni national park, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth — orchids, jaguars, monkeys, birds. To get to the corner of the park that holds the oil, you have to take a plane, then a motorboat, then paddle a canoe. “Even the sound of the motor will destroy the fragility of this place,” Ivonne A-Baki, who works for the Ecuadorian government, told me this year. …

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Alto Coca Conservation Project

News of this project, located opposite an active volcano El Reventador, comes to us by way of Mark Thurber, an American living in Ecuador, friends of Friends of Ecuador, and an accomplished mountaineer who has written travel guides about climbing and hiking in Ecuador. They have a fantastic Facebook page of photos on the progress they are making in building a cabin and supporting conservation of this unique cloud forest. The project website describes the intent:

This project was originally conceived by two environmentalists living in Quito, Ecuador. Now, the Alto Coca Conservation Group is a dedicated community of persons interested in preserving, understanding, and sharing 1000 hectares of privately owned cloud forest located in the Eastern Andes of Ecuador. In 2013, the Alto Coca property received conservation status from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment.

They posted an amazing photo of the active volcano in view from the cabin construction site.

The project website describes more about the vision of the group, its aims and progress:

Our Vision:

Protecting the ecological integrity of the Alto Coca Area for future generations

Our Mission:

Protecting Alto Coca from anthropogenic development

Improving our understanding of the biological and physical features of the area

Facilitating opportunities for interested persons to explore and appreciate the area


Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable Development

Here is a little bit more on the location:

The Alto Coca property is located in the Province of Napo, Ecuador and is flanked by Sumaco Galeras National Park to the East and the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve across the Rio Quijos to the West.

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