Bo Derek is at it again! The actress/activist, who had fought against the shark fin trade last month, terming it global environmental crisis, is in the forefront of another battle this month. She is leading a campaign against oil drilling in Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. This part of the Amazon rainforest is also home to the last remaining voluntary isolated communities, including the Waorani tribe that lives there. The field contains one-fifth of Ecuador’s oil, worth up to $10 billion.
In 2006, Ecuador’s President Raphael Correa asked the world to give $3.6 billion, about half of what the oil field is worth, to Ecuador. The donated money would be put towards social development, renewable energy, clean-up and reforestation, he had said. In that eventuality, he would drop drilling in the national park. Donations have been flowing in through the Ecuador Yasuni ITT Trust Fund, created by the United Nations Development Program.
“As a developing country, it is a big sacrifice for them. Yet 70 percent of the people support this initiative in Ecuador,” Derek said. “The country was the first to grant constitutional rights to nature in 2008. This next decision could be another win for nature, preventing “1,207 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from drilling, the burning of oil and deforestation.”
While Derek says she is not opposed to all drilling for oil, she does feel this is a place that needs to be preserved. “Ecuador is drilling and they’re going to continue to drill. It is their largest export. But there are some places that are so unique, so special that we should all support not drilling there.”
She says Nobel Prize winner Eric Chivian and other scientists have all signed a letter stating that no drilling should take place in the park, because “we have all the medicines in that place to every disease in the world.”