Ecuador halts all environmental deals with Germany

The rift between Germany and Ecuador erupted as some German lawmakers wanted to visit the Yasuni National Park which is site to a controversial mining project, that Ecuador has pushed ahead with despite opposition from indigenous group and environmentalists.

On the 19th of December, the The Ecuadorian foreign ministry informed that they are unilaterally stopping all environment related cooperation with Germany and will only re-engage on an equal footing without any meddling. This decision of the government of Ecuador follows on the earlier decision to deny entry to a few German lawmakers who wanted to visit the Yasuni to meet with Guadalupe Llori, activist opposing the project. The visit was scheduled for the 6th of December.

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The Yagsuni, a rainforest is very rich with some of the world’s rare and diverse biodiversity, but it is also oil abundant. In 2007, President Rafael Correa proposed that wealthy countries support Ecuador monetarily to the tune of $3.6 billion to ensure that the park is not exploited for oil. Germany was one of the few countries that responded resulting in a $44 million deal to protect the Yasuni. In 2013, Correa scrapped the funding plan to save the Yasuni and instead gave the approval for the oil mining project. The primary reason cited was the non-responsiveness of wealthy nations and international donors to the proposal for saving the park. Ecuador informed that the German funds will be returned and they will continue their efforts to protect the Yasuni biodiversity.

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