Yasunizate International Civic Campaign Raises US $3 Million for Ecuador Yasuni-ITT Initiative

26 Nov 2011
Yasunizate International Civic Campaign Raises US $3 Million for Ecuador Yasuni-ITT Initiative

The Yasunízate International Civic Campaign held on Sunday, 20 November 2011 in support of the Yasuni Initiative, unified the people of Ecuador in support of the preservation of the Yasuni National Park and resulted in raising nearly three million dollars (US$3.0 million) in voluntary contributions from citizens, institutions and companies in all the 24 provinces of Ecuador. Over 47,000 Ecuadorians participated in the event that included musical shows by famous Ecuadorian artists that highlighted the global significance of protecting the unique biodiversity of Yasuni. The President of the Republic participated in the Yasunízate campaign and delighted the crowd by singing, along with Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño and Pierina Correa, a beautiful song by Joaquin Sabina, entitled “ TOGETHER FOR THE YASUNÍ ”.  

The campaign was held in the premises of the Ecuadorian House of Culture (EHC) in Quito and was broadcasted across the country by television and radio stations. Individuals made financial contributions at the special urns that were placed in the EHC facilities. At the same time, through “telethon call centers” and the Yasuni website, Yasuni supporters from all across the country and the world made contributions. Contributions have continued even after the end of the special day of campaign.

Ambassador Ivonne Baki, ITT Yasuní Chief Negotiator, touched by the spirit, enthusiasm and conviction of the Ecuadorian youth, adults as well as private and public institutions, said that “Ecuador has shown a great example to the world and global citizens how to unite in support of Yasuni that has such global significance”. She thanked national and international supporters and said “the journey to protect Yasuni continues on the basis of the principles of co-responsibility which the citizens of Ecuador have so clearly exhibited”.

As of mid-night Sunday 20 November, the Yasunízate Civic Campaign received total contributions of US$ 2,934,876, of which $23,605 came from the voluntary contributions of citizens at the ballot box placed in the House of Culture. After being audited, the contribution was deposited on Monday 21 November into the account of the Yasuní ITT Trust Pacific Bank, for further transfer to the Yasuni ITT Trust Fund Account managed by UNDP.

In line with the terms of the Yasuni ITT Trust Fund Agreement, the contributions received will be deposited in the Fund's Capital Window and will be invested exclusively in the development of renewable energy sources like wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal power thereby tapping Ecuador’s significant unutilized renewable energy potential. The interests earned from the investments will be used to finance the effective conservation and avoid deforestation of natural ecosystems, especially Ecuador's National Protected Areas, which exceed 4.8 million hectares, equivalent to 20% of Ecuador’s territory- one of the highest in the world.

Preservation of the Yasuni National Park will also ensure respect of the rights and livelihood of the indigenous Taromenane Tagaeri peoples that live in the Yasuni Park in voluntary isolation. 

In addition to financing reforestation, natural regeneration and proper management of one million hectares of forest managed by smallholders, the Yasuni fund will also support social development in the areas of the Yasuni Initiative, with education, health, training, technical assistance and productive employment in sustainable activities such as ecotourism and agro-forestry. 

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