Six years after trotting out a highly acclaimed commitment to protect its rain forest, Ecuador's leftist president wants to yank the plan in favor of oil exploration, saying the world "failed" to pay Ecuador to spare the forests.
In 2007, Rafael Correa asked the international community to donate $3.6 billion that he said would allow Ecuador to forgo exploring and drilling for oil in Yasuni National Park, an area designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. But now he wants to start drilling in the area—which is populated by isolated indigenous peoples—and is blaming the global community for not sparing the forests.
"Unfortunately we have to say that the world has failed us," Correa said in a televised announcement this month. "But no one should be fooled that the main factor of the failure is that the world is a great hypocrisy."
Ecuador managed to collect less than half of one percent of the total it wanted.