Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ecuador drills for oil on edge of pristine rainforest in Yasuni

Ecuador has started drilling for oil on the edge of a controversial block of pristine rainforest inhabited by two of the last tribes in the world living in voluntary isolation.

The well platform known as Tiputini C, which is now operational a few kilometres from the Peruvian border in the Yasuni national park, is expected to be the first of nearly 200 wells needed to extract the 920m barrels of crude thought to lie below the Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini (ITT) block.

The Tiputini field is just outside the ITT zone which the government has ordered oil companies to leave untouched. But indigenous people, rainforest campaigners and many Ecuadoreans said this week that they expect oil exploitation in Yasuni national park to lead to pollution, forest destruction and the decimation of the nomadic Tagaeri and the Taromenane tribes who have chosen to have no contact with the outside world.

Tiputini river and rainforest in Yasuni national park in Ecuador’s Amazon forest. Oil companies are given permit to drill for 920m barrels of crude believed to be beneath the forest floor. Photograph: Pete Oxford/Corbis


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