Ecuador’s Yasuni-itt initiative: a critical Assessment1

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The Initiative aims to collect a capital of at least 3.6 billion dollars over a period of 13 years of fundraising. The international support for the Initiative and the increasing availability of international resources for climate change mitigation provide feasibility to the Initiative. The Fund may be covered with an annual contribution of one dollar per capita in industrialized countries.
Despite the impasse of negotiations toward a new internationally binding agreement to mitigate climate change, there is increasing availability of international resources for mitigation in developing countries. Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI), launched in 2007, has $500 million annually for mitigation in developing countries, and has included funding for $1.000 million to reduce deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, in a multiannual project, a similar one in Guyana for $250 million and another for Tanzania for $83 million, among others.15 Fast Start funds are committed for adaptation and mitigation of climate change in developing countries by industrialized countries for the period of 2010-2012 in the summit in Copenhagen in 2009, reaching $29,224 million dollars, although a substantial fraction of these funds has not been disbursed or committed. The European Union decision to auction permits for greenhouse gas emissions from 2012 onwards can generate resources of the same order of magnitude.
Given the availability of resources, the enthusiastic international acceptance of the Initiative and its holistic, pioneering and unique nature, the proposal may be regarded as financially feasible, assuming an adequate and consistent international promotion. While the global financial crisis has reduced the availability of resources in the short term, it should be noted that the Initiative has a period of 13 years for fundraising, enough to overcome the immediate effects of current restrictions. In the future, there will also be a growing awareness of global ecological problems.

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