Chile the first country to contribute to the Yasuni-ITT initiative

Sep 17, 2010

QUITO - The Government of Chile has provided US$100,000 to a trust fund aimed at protecting an ecological site in an oil-rich area of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The contribution was deposited on 15 September in the Yasuní-ITT initiative account which is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Chile is the first country to contribute to the initiative that will leave 846 million barrels of crude oil lying under the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini fields of the Yasuní ecological reserve in the country’s Amazon region.

At a ceremony held at the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfredo Moreno Charme, formalized his country’s contribution by handing his Ecuadorian counterpart, Ricardo Patiño, a certificate of deposit for US$ 100,000.

“The commitment and contribution of the Government of Chile to this fund, while it may not be a significant sum in monetary terms, is what we can do in the light of the earthquake that struck Chile a few months ago and of other needs of our population” said Mr. Moreno.

The ceremony also involved the signature of a Standard Administrative Agreement between the Chilean Foreign Minister and UNDP’s Representative in Ecuador, José Manuel Hermida, who voiced hope that the example set by Ecuador and Chile would help mobilize the contributions needed for the success of the Yasuní-ITT initiative.

The fund’s objective is to hold at least 50 percent of the estimated US$7 billion that tapping the oil would bring.

The initiative contributes to the fight against climate change by preventing discharge into the atmosphere of more than 400 million metric tons of carbon which would result from the burning of fossil fuels if oil were extracted.
The Yasuní National Park is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. It was established in 1979 and designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It covers 982,000 hectares and is located in the Upper Napo valley in the Western Amazon region of Ecuador.

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