July 2008
Viva Yasuni - Life vs Big Oil


There is an almost beautiful simplicity to the Ecuadorian leader's proposal. Rafael Correa has said that his Government is prepared not to extract nearly a billion barrels of oil from Yasuni National Park, a part of the Amazon rainforest of extraordinary but fragile ecological and cultural richness. To do so, however, Ecuador will need to be compensated by the international community to the tune of at least $350 million per annum for the next 10 years. The June 2008 deadline for this proposal to save Yasuni has been extended, but time is running out and the oil companies are poised ready to drill. This month's issue of New Internationalist looks at what's happening to a bold plan that could point the way to breaking oil dependency - but which is also fraught with possible snares and pitfalls. And it listens to the people most affected - the indigenous and other peoples of Yasuni itself.








2 Letters

4 Endgame in the Amazon
Is Ecuador's bold proposal not to exploit a billion barrels of oil in the Yasuni National Park a serious option for combating climate change? If so, the world is going to have to move fast, warns Vanessa Baird.

12 'Speak to us first!'
People from the Ecuadorian rainforest tell Fabricio Guaman what they think of their Government's proposal to leave petroleum in the ground.

14 Toxic Blocks
No-one said oil was clean. But Ecuador's experience of extracting fossil fuels is about as bad as it gets, reports David Ransom.

17 Costing the Earth
Adam Ma'anit navigates the snakepits of global carbon trading in the context of Yasuni.

20 Action


As if poetry mattered
Poems that confront human challenges - an international selection.

25 Currents
The companies making a killing from the food crisis; Planktos - RIP; apartheid accomplices Coca-Cola, Barclays, BP et al are heading for court; inside China's jails; women in Orissa, India, have ways of dealing with calamity.
PLUS: Wordpower and Seriously

28 Big Bad World
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword

29 Worldbeaters
Presidential hopeful John McCain gets the treatment.

30 Mixed media
Includes fado diva Mariza's box of delights and Billy Bragg's latest; a bestselling novel from Egypt inspired by taxi rides; an earthy fusion of cultures in Abdellatif Kechiche's film from France; and, better late than never, a blackand-white classic from the US gets its release - 30 years after it was made.

32 Southern Exposure
Blue eyes in a Bangalore stone quarry captured by photographer Selvaprakash L.

33 Making Waves
Dheepthi Namasivayam interviews the Indian Community Welfare Organization.

34 Essay: FOK-U: The Facade of
Kindness & Understanding A seminar in effective leadership (PR & Spin) by Peter Greenwall.

36 Country profile: Timor Leste





NI Japan




<This month's translation>

- Endgame in the Amazon (NI p4-11)

- 'Speak to us first!' (NI p12-13)

- Costing the Earth (NI p17-19)

- Country Profile: Timor Leste (NI p36)


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