21 Sep 2008

New Internationalist Yasuni Green Gold October Update

A decent proposal

The proposal set out by President Rafael Correa of Ecuador in May last year to preserve the Yasuní was a bold one, with inspiring principles behind it. For the first time a national government had sought international financial support to keep its oil underground: it had the potential to be revolutionary. If successful, it could provide a model for other developing nations across the world to save their own environmental and cultural treasures without having to sacrifice economic development.

However, there were also problems with Correa's proposal to save this pristine patch of Amazon. It did not clearly guarantee the preservation of the Yasuní or respect the human rights of the people of the region, and excluded them from participating in the decisions that would drastically affect their lives. It set a time limit for financial pledges and left open the possibility that, even if funds were successfully raised from the international community, they could be repaid by the Ecuadorian Government and the half-a-billion barrels of oil under the Yasuní exploited after all.

Since the proposal was made there have been some positive advances. such as the Progressive environmental and human rights articles proposed for the country’s new Constitution. Two extensions have been made to the initial deadline for international support. But,the weaknesses in the proposal have still not been addressed. Contradictory proposals and policies have emerged, such as the granting of a licence to drill in another part of the Yasuní, and the promotion of the 'Manta-Manaus corridor' – a plan to convert the River Napo into a motorway for ships trading between Brazil and China.

On a local level, many things have not changed. Huge oil spills continue, while companies such as Repsol YPF refuse to take responsibility. Inside the Yasuní, local communities, such as the Dayuma, continue to be repressed and those speaking out against the multinational companies are arrested. The revolutionary aspects of the proposal are getting lost - and it is shifting more and more into line with current free-market ideas, like carbon trading and ‘debt-for-nature-swaps’ - schemes that have already proven ineffective and immoral.

To get this proposal right, we need to get the principles right. The Yasuní Green Gold Campaign believes that the biosphere reserve is unique and that human life has no price. Paying for the Yasuní to remain unexploited undermines the human rights of those who live within the zone, as well as other national and international environmental laws that supposedly protect the park already. Certainly, Ecuador should be given financial help to support the development of alternative economic activities, helping the country preserve its forests and escape oil dependency. This is not charity; it is necessary for the whole world in order to prevent climate change. Certainly, the Yasuní should be protected because of its unique biological, ecological and cultural importance. But these are separate issues. It is wrong to use the preservation of the Yasuní and the lives of people as bargaining chips, attempting to put a price on things which are priceless.

Yasuní Green Gold wants to encourage and support Ecuador's Government to stay true to developing a bold proposal that does not sell off the Yasuní or its people for carbon credits or use them to cancel the national debt. We want them to remain committed to preserving the Yasuní and protecting its inhabitants, with no deadlines and no conditions. By creating an ‘untouchable zone’ and signing up to human rights laws, that is what they have already said they would do.

This is hard work for a country so dependent on oil, and it is the responsibility of the international community to support them in making the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy, especially because of the importance of such a move in preventing global climate change. Local and indigenous people must be actively involved in the development of such projects in the Yasuní region if they are to be successful. If all this were to happen, then the rescue of Yasuní could go down in history as a revolutionary step along the path to climate justice.

Yasuni Green Gold

Also published on www.newint.org

17 Sep 2008

Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph puts the Yasuni Campaign on their website.

You can see here

10 Sep 2008


"Música Mestiza. Documentary films. Latin Culture"

Thursday 2th October

Ecuador and Yasuni Green Gold special with documentary films and speakers

Films upstairs from 7pm
+ Speakers from Yasuni Green Gold and book presentation.

Music Downstairs

All the freshest old school and contemporary dancefloor Latin beats with Movimientos DJs Cal Jader, Pablo N, Clem George, live percussion & special guests

Entry: Donations before 9pm / £3 after
Salmon and Compass
58 Penton Street (Corner of Chapel Market), N1 9PZ (Angel tube/Northern Line)

4 Sep 2008

An interesting video post in the BBC website (in spanish /en español)

I link you a video (in spanihs) post in the BBC that i found interesting. Hope this help you to know more about the Yasuni and the problems/complexity down there

Click Here to see the video

And remember, Yasuni is Green Gold!

3 Sep 2008

Presentation publish in September´s New Internationalist magazine

Hey! This is Georgie and Ginés, we co-ordinate Yasuní Green Gold, an international campaign created with the support of the local government and people of Orellana, in the Yasuní region.

The local people and leaders, exhausted by fighting daily for their rights and usually getting nowhere, decided to reach out to the international community as a way to get their voices heard. Yasuní Green Gold was entrusted to carry their voices to your ears and their struggles to your attention.

We got involved with the Yasuní when Ginés went to work with the local government of Orellana for a year, collaborating with local people to help them define their needs and priorities. In the summer of 2007 Georgie also joined Ginés for a few months working with these local projects.

It was while we were living in Coca that we jointly decided, with the local leaders and people, to use photographs taken for the promotional purposes of the local government as a means of introducing more people to the area and issues.

We wanted to show how much more there was to the region than just oil – to focus instead on its unique biological importance and the incredible people that live there. To then develop an international movement of people (yes that means you!) and organisations who also believe that Yasuní is Green Gold and who want to support the local government and people of the Yasuní in making sure it remains untouched.

We are sure that as people learn of its beauty and its troubles they will be inspired, just as we were, to help save it. If we act together and create a united front we can achieve our goals and save the Yasuní and its people now and for the future. The Yasuní and its people’s lives have no price, the oil must not be exploited.

Will you join us?

1 Sep 2008

Latest on the Yasuní campaign.

Latest on the Yasuní campaign
Submitted by Jess Worth on August 19, 2008 - 2:53pm.
New Internationalist.

Since we published the 'Viva Yasuní: Life vs Big Oil' magazine two
months ago, the NI has done something we haven't done for a very long
time. We have thrown ourselves head-first into running a campaign.

It crept up on us gradually: first Georgie and Ginés from Yasuní Green Gold approached us with the stunning photos which you will soon
be able to see in our Yasuní Green Gold book. Then the editors
dropped everything to produce in (almost) record time a special
magazine about the people of Yasuní and the horrible situation
they find themselves in: their homes and livelihoods perched atop a
billion barrels of oil, with the oil companies clamouring to start

Having researched the situation, and discovered such beauty in this pristine
patch of Amazon rainforest, and such injustice in the way it is about
to be destroyed, we felt we couldn't leave it there. The people of
Yasuní have asked the international community for our help.
It's our responsibility to give it.

So now the NI office has been transformed into the Yasuní Green
Gold international campaign headquarters (it's not as grand as it
sounds!) Ginés and Georgie have moved to Oxford to work with
us for a while, and we are busily organising our grand launch event
in London on 6th October. We are working out a strategy for putting pressure on the wavering Ecuadorian Government to honour their initial pledge to find
a way of saving Yasuní from an oily fate – and pondering how
on earth to persuade the British Government to do the right thing for
once. We are ringing up NGOs and selected bigwigs to persuade them to
get involved in the campaign, and Ginés and Georgie are
putting together their whizzy new website, organizing volunteers
and co-ordinating actions in Spain and elsewhere.

We ran a workshop a couple of weeks ago at the Camp for Climate Action which was attended by Ecuadorian and Brazilian activists amongst others. At that point I realised what a buzz there is about this campaign - it's really captured peoples' imagination. Hell, the band playing that night even stopped their set to encourage everyone in the audience to get involved in saving Yasuní! We're increasingly getting the feeling this could get huge...

We are thrilled that Anita Rivas, the inspirational mayor of Orellana in
the Yasuní region who so kindly allowed us to use the photos
for the book will be coming over to speak at the launch, and hope we
can generate enough publicity for her voice to be heard by the
people who need to hear it.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the campaign. If
you want to be sent latest news and campaign actions as they occur,
please sign up to the NI email list.

In the meantime, if you haven't already donated a book, please do.

Viva Yasuní!