1. I would lke to share with my followers the gist of an article entitled "Rain Forest for ransom" written by Bryan Walsh that apperared in Time December 19, 2011. The article is about the rain forest in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. This is obviously part of the world famous, the Amazonia.
2. The Yasuni National Park is ca. 10,000 sq. km in area situated on the western fringe of the Amazon basin, it is on the eastern border of Ecuador, south-west of Colombia and north-west of Peru. It has been considered by many scientists to be the single most diverse spot on the planet. However, the oil companies have found rich deposit beneath the park's forest of ca. 900 million barrels of crude worth billions of USD.
3. The Ecuadorian President is willing to forgo drilling and leave the National Park intact in exchange for international donations ca. USD3.6 billion over 13 years. This proposal not only will conserve the rich biodiversity but also prevent the emission of 800 million tons of carbon dioxide. This proposal appears like an environmental blackmail to some - pay the Ecuadorians or the forests and biodiversity will go.
4. According to the Ecuadorian biologist David Romo when you go to Yasuni you will find a new species and it would take 400 years just to name all the insect species out there. There is an estimated 100,000 insects per hectare, the highest concentration on earth. According to botanist Gorky Villa, there are 655 tree species per ha and there are 28 threatened or near threatened vertebrate species there, including the whiet-bellied spider monkey and the giant river otter. It is also a bird watchers' paradise as there are ca. 600 species. The park also harbours ca. 30% of the Amazon's amphibians and reptiles.
5. In future there will be more and more of our rain forests that are put to ransom ans more and more findings of non-biodiversity products. The Maliau Basin Conservation Area came to my mind as the basin is equally rich in forest biodiversity but the forests are sitting above a rich deposit of coal.
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