Ecuadorians to vote on mining, drilling questions


Despite reservations, Ecuadorian indigenous and conservation leaders are preparing to campaign for two referendum questions with environmental implications, one on national mining policy and the other on oil development in Yasuní National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on earth. The questions are being put to voters nationwide on Feb. 4 by request of the administration of Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno. If approved, the ballot question concerning Yasuní would increase the size of the park’s so-called “intangible zone,” in which drilling and other extractive activity is prohibited so as not to disturb so-called “uncontacted” indigenous peoples living in the rainforest in voluntary isolation. Currently 758,000 hectares (1,873,000 acres), the zone would be expanded “by at least 50,000 hectares” (124,000 acres), or 6.6... [Log in to read more]

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