July 26, 2010
Following four months of negotiations, the Ecuadorian government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are expected to sign an agreement on August 3 that will create a trust fund to manage international contributions to the Yasuni – Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini (ITT) initiative. The Yasuni-ITT Trust Fund will allow Ecuador to receive monetary compensation in exchange for not extracting oil deposits in the Amazon’s Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oilfields—a region of high biodiversity located in the Yasuni National Park.
As part of the agreement, Ecuador will receive at least 50 percent of the revenue it would have otherwise received for extracting the resources found in the ITT oil reserve.
This initiative is the first of its kind and presents Ecuador as an example of a “post-petroleum” country positioning itself to fight global climate change. The initiative has received political support, but it now faces the challenge to secure donors. Only Germany has pledged an exact monetary figure to the initiative (50 million euros annually over 13 years). Ecuador hopes to receive funding from other Euro-bloc nations as well as the Arab nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the United States, public and private companies, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.