Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Kenneth Wolf

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Julianna M. Hitchins


In 2007, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador proposed the Yasuní ITT Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in an effort to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the local preservation of biodiversity. The initiative proposed enacting an indefinite ban on oil exploration and extraction within the Ecuadorian Yasuní National Park so long as the developed world was willing to contribute to half the forgone costs of drilling. However, despite initial support, the Yasuní Initiative was unsuccessful, and due to a lack of financial support, Correa terminated the proposal in August 2013.

With the increasing threat of climate change, the recent Paris Agreement highlights the need for bold actions such as those proposed by the Yasuní Initiative—which represents a solution that the global community needs. This paper looks at the history of the Yasuní Initiative from its inception to ultimate termination, as a developing country’s efforts to take part in the broader discussion of global warming and climate change. The Yasuní Initiative is examined within the context of Ecuador’s relation to oil, the country’s position as a steward of primary forest habitat that acts as a major carbon sink with rich biological and cultural diversity, in addition to the effect that the oil industry has had on the country with close attention to the Amazon region.