When Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced last week ... he had decided to allow oil exploration in parts of Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, Germany was dumbfounded. The German Development Ministry had long been opposing Correa's conservation scheme that asked developed countries to pay Ecuador for preserving the Yasuni National Park. According to Ecuadorian officials, the forest prevents about 400 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere each year.
Correa wanted international donors to come up with $3.6 billion (2.7 billion euros) as compensation payments for not extracting the oil, but said Ecuador had only raised $13 million in actual donations and $116 million in pledges. Correa said the lack of support made it necessary to go ahead with oil drilling plans, despite the fact that the UNESCO biosphere reserve is home to rich biodiversity as well as indigenous tribes.Rich Germans wanted the benefits, only if poor Ecuadorans paid for it. Arbeit macht nicht frei;
Germany played a crucial part in opposing the Yasuni project. ....
"We never ever promised to pay into a fund, because we think it's a totally wrong approach," Gudrun Kopp, [German Development Minister Dirk ] Niebel's parliamentary state secretary to the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), told [Deutsch Welle]. "We want to protect the forests, we would like to empower the indigenous people there and we know that the biodiversity in Ecuador is really unique. And we want to protect the environment by action and by reducing emissions. We don't pay for not drilling for oil."President Correa apparently not believing, ala the head waiter in Casablanca, that you give the Germans the best table, because they'll take it anyway.