The Amazon or Oil?
BOSTON – Charles Darwin would appreciate the irony of Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Yasuní, home to one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, is itself engaged in what Darwin called “the struggle for existence.” A proposed drilling project in Yasuní’s Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oilfields would tap into a reservoir estimated to be worth more than $10 billion – and permanently destroy this global treasure.
Darwin, who developed his theory of evolution in Ecuador’s famous Galapagos Islands, recognized the importance of the relationships between species. He observed that no species – including humans – can exist in isolation from other living things. Each organism relies on natural processes to survive and contributes to nature’s balance – and ultimately, to the survival of all life on our planet.
Yet in Yasuní, a tragic tradeoff between man and his environment looms.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one to read two commentaries for free? Log in