Note: These two reports coming from Ecuador on Friday illustrate the type of initiatives and policies being pushed under the ‘Green Economy,’ in which companies and countries demand large sums of money in order not to pollute or destroy ecosystems. Ecuador is essentially stealing land from indigenous peoples, inviting fossil fuel corporations to drill on much of it, and holding the rest of the land hostage unless other countries or corporations can pony up the cash to conserve it. Besides allowing corporations to greenwash their image, these types of payment for ecosystem services pilot schemes are laying the foundation for larger-scale ‘environmental markets’ in biodiversity and nature’s services, which are vigorously opposed by social movements, indigenous peoples organizations, and civil society networks worldwide.
–The GJEP Team
Ecuador to award contracts for new oil blocks in Amazon region
October 19, 2012. Source: Fox News Latino
Ecuador will auction contracts for new Amazon oil blocks believed to contain as much as 1.6 billion barrels, Non-Renewable Natural Resources Minister Wilson Pastor said Friday.
Three of the 16 blocks will be directly awarded to foreign state oil companies that will partner with Ecuadorian state oil firm Petroamazonas.
The minister said the winning bidders are expected to invest around $1.2 billion in the blocks.
Read more here.
Ecuador says companies join novel Amazon protection fund
By Alister Doyle, October 19, 2012. Source: Reuters
About a dozen companies are contributing to a novel conservation plan that pays Ecuador to protect part of the Amazon rainforest in return for barring oil drilling, the head of the initiative said on Friday.
Ivonne Baki said the scheme to conserve the Yasuni area of the Amazon basin, launched by leftist president Rafael Correa in 2010, has so far raised about $200 million, mostly from foreign governments.
“When I started last year it was only governments,” she told Reuters by telephone from Paris. “Now we have around 12 companies, and more are coming.” Individuals can also donate.
“It’s going very well,” she said.
Ecuador, an OPEC member, says that conservation of the area, which boasts one of the richest ranges of wildlife on the planet, means it will permanently forego 846 million barrels of oil and $7.2 billion in income beneath the jungle floor.
Baki said that corporate donors include Coca-Cola, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Japanese retailer Ryohin Keikaku Co, appliance maker Whirlpool, express delivery group DHL and Ecuador’s chocolate producer Republica del Cacao.
Read more here