With the richest biodiversity in the world per hectare, Ecuador has abundant natural capital. But in the last 50 years, it’s ecological surplus has dwindled to almost zero. Its Ecological Footprint currently is almost equal to its biocapacity, the amount of resources the land and sea area within its borders is able to produce.
Dania Quirola Suarez, Advisor to the National Secretary of Planning and Development of Ecuador, told attendees of an important step Ecuador has taken to address its ecological balance sheet. It has included the metric in its National Development Plan, setting a target to reduce the nation’s Footprint to a level at or below biocapacity by 2013.
In keeping with that commitment, Ecuador has launched a plan to keep 846 million barrels of oil under the Amazon rainforest permanently in the ground, Suarez told attendees. The plan would keep 407 metric tones of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and preserve one million acres of forest preserved. It also preserves the livelihood of those belonging to the indigenous cultures from the region. “In this way, we can move from an extractive economy to sustainable development, that includes broader use of energy sources and increasing social equity,” Suarez said.
Learn more about Ecuador’s Ecological Footprint Initiative