So it looks like good news. The Yasuni ITT initiative achieved its first objective, which was to reach US$100 million by 30 December 2011. It hardly looks like a resounding triumph as it is a mixture of written off debts, a donation from the President of Ecuador himself and various others. Nothing significant from most richer nations.

At Yasuniforever, we are aware that there are many ways of viewing this initiative and numerous potential negatives, but we think that as a signal of intent, it has to be positive. What is important to realise is that at the beginning of 2012, when permission could have been granted for yet another natural wonder to be destroyed, it hasn’t been. A rainforest is still alive thanks to everyone who worked for a positive outcome.

You can read more about this from the links below or by visiting our news page. It should be noted that these are press reports and nothing official seems to have been posted on the UN fund page:

World pays Ecuador not to extract oil from rainforest by John Vidal
Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park Challenge – Succeeds in Creating a Crowdsourcing Model to Prevent Oil Drilling at Celsias

There is however, much more to do. Step one was only just achieved and much more money needs to be raised to save Yasuni in the future. Still, it’s a good note to start 2012 on.

In order for the Yasuni ITT initiative to proceed, it was stated that US$100 million would need to be donated by 30 December 2011. Realistically, yasuniforever, thought that this amount should have been relatively easy to achieve. There must be 100 million people in the world passionate enough to be able to donate 1 dollar to this cause. All that was needed was the will to inform and mobilise them. But how to do that?

Unfortunately, yasuniforever knows only that it has raised between $100 and $200 dollars. This is due to really not having the time to devote to the cause. Even to get this far has required a steep learning curve since first reading an article about Yasuni in August 2011.

Yasuniforever has also contacted the administrators of the fund who have been very helpful. Despite this, it has been difficult to track how much has been donated by other sources. The information on the fund site indicates only that approximately US$2 million dollars has been received. However, we were told that over U$53 million was pledge on 23 September.

More recently, publicity around donations from MUJI and the Government of Georgia have shown that money is still being received, but it is unclear when this gets displayed on the fund page.

Press articles here and here say that the $US 100 million was reached earlier this month. Yasuniforever will be watching and will update when we know if the first target was reached or not and what happens next.

Thanks to all those that have encouraged and supported us.

This short film gives a brief explanation of the story behind and the details of the Yasuni ITT initiative.

In 2007, President Correa of Ecuador issued a historic proposal, that was a new way of approaching and valuing our natural resources. About 4 years later, the make or break date for the success or demise of that proposal is approaching and the coverage in the media is embarrassingly sparse.

The Yasuni ITT initiative is a new way of thinking about the world and its resources which could make history. It could change the future of the human race and it’s attitude to the world, its home, but hardly anyone seems to have heard about it.

In simple terms, Ecuador wants to leave the oil it has discovered in the Yasuni ITT reserve where it is and transform its energy generation to renewable sources. Consequently, benefiting its human and animal population in innumerable ways. To do this, it wants to raise US$3.6 billion by 2013. More details will be added later or can be found here:

For this proposal to go ahead, Ecuador created a fund managed by the UN. To be considered viable they need to raise US$100 million by 30 December 2011. Apart from a few random articles there seems to be little in the print press about this initiative and less on TV. Why? The proposal is historic and life changing.

This blog and the @yasuniforever twitter account think that this is something that needs to be heard and the money needs to be found. As a species, we have very little time to secure out future and the Yasuni ITT initiative is a positive and significant step in the right direction.

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