COP18: Ecuador’s ‘courageous’ decision to leave oil in the ground

COP18: COP18 (05/12/12) – Ivonne A-Baki, Secretary of State for Yasuni-ITT Initiative, Republic of Ecuador talks about her work in the region with the highest biodiversity in the world.

She says the area not only has vast ecosystems but also communities and most importantly the region has oil – that the President of Ecuador has chosen to leave in the ground.

She says there are billion of dollars worth of oil in the region and calls the decision of the President “courageous” particularly because Ecuador remains a developing country that is reliant on oil.

She says the country has a strong history of protecting its environment, with 20% of its land falling in the country’s 44 protected areas.