14th Jan 2010
Source: Cool Earth
Ecuador's foreign minister has resigned following criticism of how he was negotiating a rainforest protection project in the Amazon.
Fander Falconi spearheaded the country's efforts to seek international support for an initiative which would see Ecuador leave millions of barrels' worth of oil underground in the Amazon.
However, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa commented that Mr Falconi handled negotiations with other countries over the Yasuni initiative "shamefully" and did not take a tough enough stance with Belgium, Germany and others attempting to dictate the terms of the agreement.
Mr Falconi noted in his resignation statement that he objected to a six-month time limit placed on the committee negotiating the deal - Mr Correa said that if a deal cannot be struck by June, the resources will be exploited.
It is estimated that some 410 million tonnes from CO2 would not be emitted if the oil reserves are left untouched.
According to deforestation rates published by Mongabay.com, Ecuador lost some 2.96 million hectares of forest cover between 1990 and 2005.