Oil to stay untapped in Ecuadorian Amazon

In a world first, about 850 million barrels of oil, approximately 20% of Ecuador’s reserves, will remain in the ground to avoid harming the local environment and Indigenous groups, in exchange for help with the local economy.

The area to be saved is said to be one of the most biodiverse on the planet; a single hectare containing a similar number of tree species to the whole of North America.

Many of the world’s most sensitive environments are found in developing countries, which, like Ecuador, rely on the extraction of natural resources for revenue. Over three years researchers will develop a cost benefit analysis of extracting the oil, versus leaving it where it is, assessing the damage to biodiversity and potential dangers to culture and health.

Read more at Australian National University