Signatures are in, but ITT referendum is uncertain


Opponents of Ecuador’s plan to drill for oil in a world-renowned rainforest park appear to have collected more than the minimum number of signatures needed to seek a national referendum on the project. Elections officials have rejected numerous signed petition forms on technical grounds, however, raising doubts about whether the vote will take place. The campaign’s organizers, a coalition of environmentalists, indigenous advocates, non-governmental groups and ordinary citizens, are opposing government plans to allow drilling in an oil concession area called Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT). A portion of the 192,000-hectare (474,000-acre) concession area, which contains an estimated 20% of Ecuador’s untapped oil reserves, sits inside Yasuní National Park, a highly biodiverse rainforest reserve located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Ecuador’s constitution allows... [Log in to read more]

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