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Ecuador: Saving Yasuni: Can a revolutionary plan protect the rainforest from commercial exploitation?

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is not only one of the world's most biodiverse places. It is also home to up to five billion barrels of oil.

Source:  Copyright 2013, Independent
Date:  March 10, 2013
Byline:  Stanley Johnson
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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The flight from Quito to Coca, a small oil town in the Ecuadorian Amazon, takes off a couple of hours late, so we don't reach Coca until around noon. Then we have to take a helicopter up the Napo river to reach Añangu, in the heart of Yasuni, the extraordinary national park that is among the most biodiverse places on the planet.

If all had gone to plan, we would have been in our seats long before the president and his party arrived. As it is, as we hover over the endless jungle, I can see that the president's own helicopter, a tough-looking military model, is already parked in a clearing in the forest, and the show has started.

Ana Alban, Ecuador's former environment minister, now her country's ambassador in London, had explained before we left England: "Now that the election campaign has started, the vice-president, Lenin Moreno, becomes president for the duration of the campaign. He is planning to make a televised address to the nation from the Amazon ...

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