About a dozen companies are contributing to a novel conservation plan that pays Ecuador to protect part of the Amazon rainforest in return for barring oil drilling, the head of the initiative said on Friday.
Ivonne Baki said the scheme to conserve the Yasuni area of the Amazon basin, launched by leftist president Rafael Correa in 2010, has so far raised about $200 million, mostly from foreign governments.
"When I started last year it was only governments," she told Reuters by telephone from Paris. "Now we have around 12 companies, and more are coming." Individuals can also donate.
"It's going very well," she said.
Ecuador, an OPEC member, says that conservation of the area, which boasts one of the richest ranges of wildlife on the planet, means it will permanently forego 846 million barrels of oil and $7.2 billion in income beneath the jungle floor.
Baki said that corporate donors include Coca-Cola, Royal Caribbean ...