Esperanza Martinez on Yasuni and the ITT proposal.

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This article by deserves to be reproduced in full:

Yasuni – Our Future in Their Hands?

Ecuador proposes to claim compensation in exchange for leaving crude oil in the ground. Esperanza Martinez examines what this means for resource sovereignty.

Oil, for countries that possess it, is often centre stage when it comes to issues of sovereignty. Invasions have been launched to access it and military and political interventions pushed through to control it, leaving the door wide open for corruption.

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Correan corridor contradictions: speaking with two tongues.

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See the entry below for further information about the Manta-Manaus corridor – which is not exactly the kind of project that one would consider commensurable with the “values” of the environment expressed in Correa’s favourite pet environmental project:

A key part of this initiative is to avoid oil extraction activities in Yasuni National Park, home to at least two indigenous tribes that live in voluntary isolation and one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Ecuador proposes to leave the nearly one billion barrel ITT oilfield unexploited in order to preserve Yasuni’s astounding biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the cultural integrity of its indigenous inhabitants.

Correa’s and Lula’s future corridor – or commodity highway – planned to criss-cross the Andes and the Amazon to bring plastics one way and natural resources the other includes the River Napo, which flows right past Yasuni, as an hidrovia or waterway (that is, more or less: river + concrete = stable route). Hardly what you’d call preserving “the cultural integrity of its indigenous inhabitants” if you destroy their river upon which they in great part depend.

Jatun Sacha – the long, sneaky arm of Pfizer et al.

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Jatun Sacha is a lovely place. Comprising 2500 hectares of easily accessible primary rainforest, it is one of the last little paradises around Tena.

Jatun Sacha Research Station

Or so it seems…

Promoting the conservation of ecosystems through technical training, scientific research, environmental education, natural resource management, and community development involving local peoples surely can’t be all that bad, even if it meant privatizing many square metres of ancestral indigenous territories. After all this was government policy in the 1970s anyway, and better the land goes to an eco- humanitarian project than some overweight cattle farmer. ¿No?

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Calling on all Globalisation Pirates and Cultural Rebels: the boat is leaving any minute!

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Calling on all Globalisation Pirates and Cultural Rebels: the boat is leaving any minute!

Having realised that political organising (in Amazonia, everywhere?) all too often falls prey to the lures of power corrupting even the best of intentions once the gap between representer and the represented grows to an irreconcilable division of minds, bodies and communities, or, even worse, realising that political organising simply bores people (refer in particular to the previous point for justification of that sentiment), and simply does not cut deep enough (how could technocratic thinking actually reach communities embedded in a poetic cosmovision?), we call for a story-telling, myth-carrying, ideas inter-changing and multifariously cultural boat to float down the river!

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A Road of Destruction: the Manta-Belém corredor

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The projected trade route from the Pacific port town Manta in Ecuador to the Atlantic port Belém in Brasil is a serious threat to the rain forest and its humble inhabitants. The main purpose of the corredor is to bring commodities from Asia to Brasil, the “justification” that this poor under-developed area needs improvement (= capitalist, economic development).

The world is already criss-crossed by roads, covered in a thick crust of asphalt, which is “sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits.

But this road is not made of asphalt alone.

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