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Zero surveillance over oil drilling in Yasuni National Park

Zero surveillance over oil drilling in Yasuni National Park

REQUEST. The Biodivesity Comission has authorized oil extraction in the Yasuni National Park.

Source : La Hora
Oil exploration in blocks 31 and 43 at the heart of the Yasuni National Park should have been followed by public bodies during all stages of exploration, drilling and transportation of hydrocarbons. Such was the initial ruling of the National Assembly authorizing extraction in the National Park.

One year and five months later, however, the Citizens Participation Council (CPC) has registered no such monitoring, nor do members of the Legislative Biodiversity Commission know of any citizen scrutiny operations.

On October 4th, 2013, the Assembly approved drilling in the reserve, requesting that the Executive, in its various institutions, “facilitate conditions for the implementation of observation committees and citizen surveys”.

CPC board consultant David Rosero confirmed that the entity had not executed any public calls in order to form enquiries, whose function would be to scrutinize different stages of extraction.

“What is needed is a meeting, via the council or via citizen observers, in order to create a committee that surveys all environmental matters, given that they have the necessary autonomy to do so”, he explained.


“So far there has been no sighting or evidence of citizen observation regarding the fulfilment of requirements within the declaration”, says Assembly member Liliana Guzmán (PAIS).

Likewise, José Acacho (PK), who believes that it is the responsibility of the CPC, responded by declaring that “in no formal means whatsoever has public opinion been called upon”.

In April, the third semester will have passed since the resolution was first approved. On this date, executive institutions will have to present their reports once more. Guzmán awaits information concerning the implementation of public surveillance.

“Still, there has been no public consultation”, complained Patricio Chávez, member of the Yasunidos group.

Guzmán states that there is “a guideline, a regulation and a qualification. Citizens must enrol in the process in order to put forward the particular type of surveillance required”. (AGO)


° Despite not being registered with the CPC, Yasunidos believes it has citizen support after having gathered signatures to create a surveillance team. On several occasions, they attempted to enter the Yasuni National Park, but were denied entry according to Patricio Chávez.

Furthermore, he believes that the Participation Council “does not have the executive power to lay out surveillance objectives”.

Yasunidos proposes a three-part commission between members of the group, Government representatives and national and international experts. This proposal will be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment tomorrow.

The Ministry declared via press communiqué that “a group of civil society representatives composed of student leaders and representatives from both corporate and social organizations from all over the country, conducted an overflight and a trip through the Yasuni National Park”.

According to the Ministry, the citizens reviewed the “environmental safeguards and the 20 kilometre ecological access uniting platforms Nenke and Apaika with the sub-fluvial tunnel of block 31”.

Chávez questioned this visit, as he believes it was not impartial. We requested an interview with the Ministry members responsible for the visits and surveillance. According to the Department of Communication, we will get a response within two days.

3 semesters since ruling in April.

2 blocks to be drilled.


forêt fleurs

© La Hora - translated from spanish by Felix Charnley / original article

Date : 11/03/2015