Yes to Yasuni – an episode of Rising Clyde with host Iain Bruce

This year the people of Ecuador struck a major blow for climate justice, by voting to leave the oil in the soil beneath the Yasuní National Park.

We talk to one of the people who made that victory possible, Leonidas Iza, president of the main Indigenous organisation, CONAIE, who visited Scotland in July to promote the Yasuni campaign.

He discusses the challenges ahead, the need to link up with other anti-mining and anti-extractive struggles, and the lessons for climate justice globally.

Leonidas Iza. President of CONAIE. Rising Clyde. Yes to Yasuní. Scottish Independence Podcasts


Yasuni National Park – Keeping the Oil in the Soil

Yasuní National Park is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on Earth and a convergence point for three unique regions, the EquatorAndes Mountains, and the Amazon rainforest.

But. The park contains an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil – 40 percent of Ecuador’s reserves. Plans to extract this oil were met with resistance from Indigenous people, and critisised by scientists.

In 2007, president Rafael Correa launched the Yasuní-ITT Initiative in an effort to protect the park’s natural resources. The initiative promised to protect the park’s biodiversity in exchange for compensation from the international community, but the effort did not raise enough money. Oil extraction began in 2016 and was expanded in 2019.

In August 2023, a referendum on oil exploration in the national park passed, requiring a halt to oil drilling in the national park.

Listen to more of our environmental and climate change podcasts in our Climate Emergency playlist.

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