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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ecuador to avoid exploitation of oil field in Amazonian forest

QUITO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Thursday ordered the creation of the ITT Yasuni Project Technical Secretariat to avoid the exploitation of the Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini (ITT) oil field in an Amazonian natural reserve.

The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said in a communique that the ITT Yasuni Project Technical Secretariat, created as a temporary branch of the Foreign Ministry, will be in charge of obtaining contributions to a trust fund among other activities.

The Ecuadorian government wants to establish the "Yasuni ITT Trust Fund,"an autonomous patrimony that will allow the adequate administration of contributions to use them for investment plans and utilize its resources to finance Ecuadorian Government Development Plans.

The Ecuadorian government expects that the secretariat would contribute at least 350 million U.S. dollars annually to avoid the exploitation of the oil field in ITT within Yasuni National Park, a highly bio-diverse Amazonian forest considered as one of the "world's lungs".

Petroleum is Ecuador's main export which finances 35 percent of the government's budget.

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