Investment in Yasuni ITT Trust Fund Needs Stronger Defense

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Re: “Save the Yasuni rainforest: Ecuador must not drill for oil in this natural wonderland” By Bo Derek – 9/23/2011, New York Daily News

Ms. Derek’s article downplays the reality that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s plan for the Yasuni ITT (Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini) Trust Fund could represent a future strategy for effective global climate stabilization. While she does touch upon it briefly, the case for investment must be made from a more pragmatic angle, with an eye on sound economic principles. The trust fund plan does in deed accomplish this goal, but an argument in its support based in classic “save the rainforest” rhetoric risks ringing hollow in these difficult economic times.

The costs and benefits of the decision not to drill in Yasuni National Park must be a global responsibility, not Ecuador’s alone. Addressing global climate destabilization will require global investment.

As the article points out, Correa’s plan to split the funding for blocking drilling is novel. If successful, it may be possible to utilize similar strategies in other oil-producing countries as the transition to a post petroleum-based culture forges ahead.

Sierra Ramirez, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs