This program celebrates a remarkable environmental strategy proposed by civil society that is now the preferred option of the Ecuador's President. Ecuador will keep nearly a billion barrels of oil in the ground if the international community pay it $350 million in compensation each and every year for the next 10 years. The proposal has clear environmental and social benefits for Ecuador. The Yasuní National Park - a part of the Amazon rainforest with an extraordinary but fragile ecological significance - will be saved from the often devastating consequences of mining. The international community also gains from the proposal, with the atmosphere avoiding a potential 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions. The German and Spanish Governments are supporting the proposal. So too is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). New Internationalist co-editor Vanessa Baird joins the Radio New Internationalist team to explore the Yasuní proposal and its relevance to mining everywhere.
As share prices shoot up during mining booms, uncritical media give glowing guarantees that whole countries will be able to ride on the resources being prized from the earth. Patricia Feeney - Executive Director of the NGO Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) - explains why mining's the pits by pointing out the African people and places buried under the mineral wealth.
Carlos Larrea - one of Ecuador's leading economists - reports on the yet-to-be settled technical details of the Yasuní proposal and the emergence of a world first: legally enforceable rights for flora and fauna.
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