Ecuador’s Yasuni-itt initiative: a critical Assessment1



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1 An initial version of this paper was presented at the ENGOV (Environmental Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean) Project Conference, held in Brasilia between June 13 and 16, 2012. The research is supported by ENGOV and other sources.

2 Professor, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, and former Technical Adviser of the Yasuni-ITT Initiative.

3 An initial version of this paper was presented at the ENGOV (Environmental Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean) Project Conference, held in Brasilia between June 13 and 16, 2012.

4 Professor, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, and former Technical Adviser of the Yasuni-ITT Initiative.

5 Ecuador’s per capita GDP was 8,268 PPP Dollars, compared with the Latin American average of 10,739 dollars in 2011.

6 The “Dutch Disease” theory refers to the negative effects of primary export booms on long term development prospects for industrialization and economic diversification. Booming export activities generate effects on the exchange rate and domestic demand, which over-expand both the booming traded and shielded sectors, making other traded and import competing activities less competitive. Once the boom is over, the economy is affected by low diversification and deindustrialization. The term originated in Holland after the discovery of North Sea gas (Gelb, 1988).

7 El Comercio, July 16, 2012. The official source is the National Hydrocarbon Direction.

8 September 14, 2010.

9 If the emissions prevented are distributed over a 13-year period, their current net value would be US$ 5.37 billion, using a social discount rate of 6% per annum. Taking the EUA price, as of February 18, 2011, of US$ 20.31 per tonne, the present value is 5.51 billion dollars.

10According to the widely accepted theory of the Hubbert peak, the world production capacity of oil is currently approaching its maximum and then will begin to decline below demand due to the limitation of world reserves. See: Deffeyes, Kenneth. Hubbert’s Peak. The Impending World Oil Shortage. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

11 BP (2008). Statistical Review of World Energy. London.

12 Future food security is constrained, among other factors, by limited or decreasing available arable land, water scarcity, population growth, and a mainstream agricultural technology intensive in energy and fossil fuels, which is not sustainable.

13 The “Socio Bosque” Project provides an economic incentive to land holders and communities to preserve undisturbed forests. As the incentive per hectare is low and flat, and its value is substantially lower than the short term revenues from logging, deforestation continues to be a profitable short-term option to new settlers in areas of expansion of the agricultural frontier (Interview with Eugenio Pappalardo, 2011).

14 As an example, the Secoya community recieved a credit from the Corporación Financiera Nacional to plant palm oil in the rainforest area (http://radioequinoccio.com/component/content/article/1-ultimas-noticias/2222-ecuador-multan-a-comunidad-secoya-con-375048-por-sembrar.html, 2011)

15Ref.: www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/md/Selected-topics/klima/the-government-of-norways-international-.html?id=548491


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