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German parliamentarians support project to protect the ITT field in Yasuní

German parliamentarians support project to protect the ITT field in Yasuní


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The German Parliament resolved to support the project to protect the ITT field, in Yasuní, and ask the German Government to commit to the initiative of sponsoring the world fund to save this planetary reserve of life from oil exploitation.


The German Parliament resolved to support the project to protect the ITT field, in Yasuní, and ask the German Government to commit to the initiative of sponsoring the world fund to save this planetary reserve of life from oil exploitation.

Here is the report of the German legislative body:

Review and develop Ecuador's proposal on global climate and biodiversity conservation - achieve Yasuní Park conservation through compensation payments for foregone income

That the Bundestag resolve:

I. The Deutsche Bundestag notes:

Ecuador's proposal of June 5, 2007 to protect the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) field in the Yasuní National Park from any possible damage caused by oil exploitation is expressly applauded. The proposal is of special importance for the conservation of a unique biosphere reserve in the world and the protection of the indigenous peoples settled in this area. Beyond that, it enriches the necessary discussion on the contribution of developing countries to global climate protection and the value of biological diversity. As a counterpart to the conservation of the ITT and Ecuador's resignation to the exploitation of crude oil, to be permanently guaranteed through internationally binding contracts, the country requires that the international community agree to make compensation payments in favor of Ecuador. What is prioritized is the protection of biodiversity and not the renunciation of the use of oil resources. We do not want to create a precedent that puts international negotiations on climate protection at risk due to financial demands from oil-producing countries, which are impossible to meet.

Ecuador expects several donors to finance half of the expected income not received as a contribution to the conservation of the value of the function and existence of the Yasuní ecosystem, unique in the world. According to current estimates, it would be about US $ 350 million per year for a period of thirteen years. The Ecuadorian Government wants to assume the other half, a huge effort for the country but at the same time a sign of the seriousness of the proposal. President Rafael Correa has set a one-year deadline within which binding pledges of funding can be submitted for a compensation fund. In the event that the financing is not secured by the end of the term in June / July 2008, the protection status will most likely be lifted, giving permission to oil exploitation of the block within the ITT. The consequences of an oil exploitation would be irreversible for the Yasuní National Park. The damages generated by the opening of the field and the construction of the infrastructure are immense. The placement of the pipelines and the parallel construction of the roads go hand in hand with the arrival of people who cut down valuable trees and settle in the area. The local indigenous population is forcibly displaced from their original habitat. The state of the colonized areas of the Amazon is catastrophic because the lack of awareness and compliance as well as the spills contribute to a slow poisoning of the Amazon River.

In January of this year, the Government of Ecuador confirmed its willingness to implement the proposal. Created an ITT Secretariat and appointed an ITT Special Officer to promote the implementation of the proposal. Since then, the ITT special manager Francisco Carrión Mena has presented the ITT proposal in numerous States - also in Germany in March - in talks with deputies and the Government. For the development of solutions for aspects not yet clarified, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has already allocated resources and assistance for short-term expert missions.

The Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) field is part of the Yasuní National Park. The Yasuní is located in the northwest of the Amazon region and is considered a natural heritage of humanity thanks to its unique biodiversity. In 1989, UNESCO integrated it into its biosphere conservation program. One hectare of the Yasuní National Park houses almost the same number of tree species as all of North America, in a single tree there are more species of coleopterans than in all of Europe and of the total of 1,300 species of birds present in the entire Amazon basin, Yasuní has ​​567. Indigenous peoples live in the National Park area, whose culture and way of life are closely linked to this great natural diversity and the forest. Among them the Tagaere and Taromenane, until now without contact with civilization and also settled in the ITT field.


Despite its status - Yasuní is a protected area because it is a National Park - there have long been oil exploitation areas, called blocks, in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Some of these blocks extend to the interior of the Yasuní. The ITT block is located almost entirely in the National Park area and the proven field reaches at least 412 million barrels of crude oil. However, estimates speak of a total of approximately 920 million barrels. The exploitation of oil in this area would imply serious ecological damage and would destroy the habitat of indigenous aboriginal cultures. The experiences with standards and safety obtained in 40 years of oil exploitation in Ecuador are catastrophic and continue to contribute to the extensive pollution of the habitat to this day. Beyond this, oil exploitation with the consequent destruction of jungle areas as well as the subsequent use of oil reinforce climate change, given that fossil energy sources as well as the cutting of forests are among the main causes of climate change. . The logging of primary forests alone contributes to about 20 percent of the world's annual CO2 emission. During this process, not only the carbon stored in the vegetation is released, but also that of the soil.

At the initiative of the former Minister of Energy Alberto Acosta, the Ecuadorian Government of President Rafael Correa officially adopted, on June 5, 2007, the proposal to renounce the exploitation of oil from ITT to conserve the biological diversity and habitat of indigenous peoples, and thereby foregoing annual income estimated at approximately 700 million US dollars. Ecuador estimates that this amount can be generated in the first thirteen years of oil exploitation of the ITT and that productivity and income will gradually decrease from this first period. As a requirement for the implementation of the proposal, the international community must contribute half of the forecasted income for thirteen years, that is, pay US $ 350 million to a fund. The other half will be assumed by Ecuador itself. The capitalization of a fund - equipped with four billion US dollars - that could generate a permanent yield equivalent to the annual amount required by Ecuador is also discussed. With this fund, Ecuador wants to invest in social projects, alternative energy sources, nature and environmental conservation projects, and ecotourism. In return, Ecuador will have to commit through internationally binding contracts to permanently protect the ITT field and renounce everything that may affect the biological diversity and habitat of indigenous peoples due to oil exploitation. You can also think about issuing bonds for the value of the amount paid by donors. In the event that Ecuador does not comply with the agreement and allows the exploitation of oil, it should reimburse the amounts to the different donors.

The Ecuadorian Government proposed several alternatives for the composition of the compensatory payments:

  • debt forgiveness (bilateral debt, debt before the Paris Club, debt before multilateral organizations),
  • State contributions,
  • contributions from non-governmental organizations and other civil society groups,
  • contributions from individuals.

In June / July 2008 the term of one year originally defined by President Correa expires. As of this date, the implementation of the ITT proposal must be assured thanks to the binding financial promises and / or financing proposals. Otherwise, Ecuador will begin with the exploitation of the oil fields in the ITT block. However, it was only in September 2007 that President Correa presented the proposal to the UN General Assembly. Since January of this year there is a Technical Secretariat and a special person in charge of the Government to support the proposal and clarify the many pending questions. For example, it remains to define who will manage the future fund and how a binding regulation for the conservation of the ITT field should be formulated. In addition, it is necessary to perform reliable calculations on the oil stocks in the ITT block and agree on a method of calculation for the possible income achieved with an oil exploitation. It is essential that the deadline be extended until the end of 2008 to clarify unresolved issues and prepare implementation proposals in order to gain the trust of potential donors - States, organizations and individuals - and successfully implement this proposal for a great future .

II. The Deutsche Bundestag requests the federal government:

  • intercede with the Ecuadorian Government in favor of an extension of the term until the end of 2008 in order to allow an exact review of the proposals and create a solid decision base, scientifically assured of approval of the proposal;
  • Apart from your general support for the ITT proposal, declare in principle willing to participate financially with other donors within the framework of the Federation's current budget planning, as soon as a solid, fair financial mechanism with minimal impact on the budget has been found ; support the Government of Ecuador in the preparation of concrete proposals for the establishment of a compensation fund and the integration of other bilateral and multilateral donors; to initiate the preparation of a study that analyzes critical aspects (for example, doubts regarding the real potential of oil exploitation and with it the assessment of the ITT) and technical problems in the implementation of the ITT proposal (including monitoring of the area protected), present solution proposals and name financing options for compensation. The benchmark for compensatory payments would be the conservation of the biological diversity of the area in question; also ensure that an eventual compensatory mode is sustainable, transparent, efficient and equitable for the local population and cannot be affected by eventual political changes in Ecuador;
  • evaluate again a possible cancellation of Ecuador's debt as a contribution to compensatory payments and promote a debt-for-nature-swap before partners within the European Union and / or the Paris Club;
  • promote this initiative within the EU and OECD and convince a maximum of partner governments to commit themselves financially and politically;
  • Also, in this context, help the protection of the Yasuní National Park as a whole to be politically strengthened and that Ecuador receives technical support for effective conservation and / or sustainable use of this area in order to open alternative sources of income for the local population;
  • Also verify to what extent the ITT proposal and / or the financing and distribution mechanism found can be transferred to a future international financing regime to overcome the isolated funds solution. www.ecoportal.net

Berlin, June 25, 2008

Volker Kauder, Dr. Peter Ramsauer and political group
Dr. Peter Struck and political group
Renate Künast, Fritz Kuhn and political group

* Report of the German legislative body - Preliminary electronic version - Deutscher Bundestag Printed 16/9758 - 16th. Legislative period 25.06.2008

Motion of Members Dr. Christian Ruck, Anette Hübinger, Dr. Wolf Bauer, Hartwig Fischer (Göttingen), Norbert Geis, Manfred Grund, Jürgen Klimke, Hartmut Koschyk, Sibylle Pfeifer, Dr. Norbert Rüttgen, Volker Kauder, Dr. Peter Ramsauer and the political group of the CDU / CSU parties and of the deputies Dr. Sascha Raabe, Gregor Amann, Elvira Drobinski-Weiss, Detlef Dzembritski, Gabriela Groneberg, Stephan Hilsberg, Iris Hoffmann, Dr. Bärbel Kofler, Walter Kolbow, Ute Kumpf, Lothar Mark, Thomas Oppermann, Christel Riemann-Hanewinckel, Walter Riester, Frank Schwabe, Dr. Ditmar Staffelt, Hedi Wegener, Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, Dr. Peter Struck and the SPD party political group, as well as MPs Ute Koczy, Undine Kurth (Quedlinburg), Thilo Hoppe, Hans-Josef Fell, Bärbel Höhn, Renate Künast, Fritz Kuhn, Marieluise Beck (Bremen), Volker Beck (Cologne), Cornelia Behm, Alexander Bonde, Dr. Uschi Eid, Hans-Josef Fell , Kai Gehring, Bettina Herlitzius, Winfried Hermann, Peter Hettlich, Ulrike Höfken, Dr. Anton Hofreiter, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, Markus Kurth, Anna Lühmann, Nicole Maisch, Jerzy Montag, Kerstin Müller (Cologne), Winfried Nachtwei, Omid Nouripur, Claudia Roth (Augsburg), Manuel Sarrazin, Dr. Gerhard Schick, Rainder Steenblock, Silke Stokar von Neuforn, Hans-Christian Ströbele, Jürgen Trittin, Josef Philip Winkler and the political group of the BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN party.


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