Yesterday was World Environment Day, and one more day to try to get our attention around the collective damage we are doing to the planet. World Environment Day was created by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 1972 in order to stimulate thinking and create awareness about environmental issues. This year’s theme was “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?” In support of International Polar year major celebrations were hosted by Norway, with particular emphasis on the city of Tromsø.
In a spirit of environmental awareness, Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador has challenged wealthy country to actively engage in the preservation of our collective natural resources. Correa is asking for $350 million dollars, annually for 10 years, in exchange for not drilling in Ishpingo-Tipitini-Tambocacha fields which are part of the Yasuni National park and are located in the country’s northern jungle. This land has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and it is said that is hold more plant and animal diversity than all of the USA and Canada combined.
Ecuador is a very poor country and they could definitely use the money, whether it comes from oil, or from protecting the jungle. Since president Correa is a known leftist, it would be a very interesting proposal to see him spend this money on education and social improvements, thus making the most of out the project. You can read an article in the International Herald Tribune about this.