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Ecuador | Referendum shows strong public support for reducing oil drilling in Yasuní NP

YASUNÍ NATIONAL PARK, Ecuador — A decisive battle is just beginning for Indigenous peoples and ecologists who have been watching helplessly as state-owned oil company Petroamazonas settles into Yasuní National Park, one of the world’s most biodiverse areas, to take advantage of its oil reserves.

Oil extraction in Yasuni is happening in Blocks 31 and 43, better known as the ITT Initiative, and is made up of the Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini fields. In October 2013, the Assembly accepted the request of former President Rafael Correa to allow hydrocarbon extraction in Blocks 31 and 43. These blocks encroach on the Tagaeri-Taromenane Intangible Zone (ZITT), created to protect Indigenous communities in the area whose residents choose to remain isolated from other people.