Ecuador’s constitution enforces legal recognition of the rights of nature (similar to Bolivia’s constitution).
Since 2007, the government of Ecuador has promoted an initiative to prevent the development of nearly 900 million barrels of oil within what is known as the Yasuni National Park which is located on the eastern border of the country and runs up against Peru.
Just over three and a half billion dollars are required by the plan to be paid to the government of Ecuador over a span of 13 years in order to preserve the park from development. The project has received official support internationally from organization including the European Union, and the project’s official websites provides instructions to interested donors.
It is not clear what safeguards are in place to ensure that the oil reserves of the park are undeveloped in the future.
Biological diversity in the park is astonishing, and scientists have discovered that one hectare of land in the park contains more species of trees, for example, than the total recorded species of trees in the US and Canada combined. The park is home to more species of insects than any other forest in the world according to studies.