UNDP and Ecuador to Protect Yasuni National Park and Forego Fossil Fuels Extraction
16 December 2009: On the sidelines of the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, together with Ecuador's Foreign Minister Fander Falconi and Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage Marie Ferdinand Espinosa, launched an initiative to protect Ecuador's Yasuni National Park and forego the extraction of fossil fuels.
The park is designated as a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve and home to isolated indigenous peoples. The initiative aims to prevent the extraction of an estimated 850 million barrels of crude oil in the ground, which would prevent the release of 407 million tones of carbon dioxide. To offset the lost revenue, a multi-donor trust fund has been established. The Yasuni Trust Fund will be managed by UNDP and will focus on: reducing carbon emissions by permanently foregoing extraction of fossil fuels; developing alternative energy; protecting indigenous groups; and reducing poverty and inequality through sustainable social development. [UNDP Press Release]