Economy & Business - February 2022

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

ECUADOR | Drilling banned in Yasuní buffer zone. On 2 February Ecuador’s constitutional court (CC) struck down aspects of a 2019 decree issued by former president Lenín Moreno (2017-2021) which had permitted oil drilling operations in the buffer zone around Yasuní national park in the provinces of Pastaza and Orellana. The CC determined that oil drilling in this area violates the principle of non-contact with isolated indigenous peoples, as is outlined in Ecuador’s constitution. The ruling will impact the ‘Block 43’ oil well, part of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oilfield which is operated by state oil company Petroecuador. Kevin Koenig, the director of climate and energy campaigns at US-based NGO Amazon Watch, noted that the ruling is “a reminder for oil companies and investors that expanding oil extraction in Ecuador’s Amazon is a risk and full of potential legal liabilities”.

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