Nature wins over fossil fuels in Ecuador

A majority (60 per cent) of Ecuadorians voted to halt its largest oil project underneath Yasuní National Park. The binding referendum permanently bans oil drilling in the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil project, located on the eastern edge of the Yasuní national park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. There are an estimated 1.67 billion barrels of crude in the ITT fields, with 225 active wells. More than 500 total wells were planned. But Sunday’s popular vote prohibits the opening of all new wells and requires state oil company Petroecuador to close wells currently in production and dismantle and remove all oil infrastructure within a year. The vote also requires remediation and reforestation in the area.

The referendum has renewed Ecuador's democracy and is an example for the whole world, says Ivonne Yáñez, co-founder of environmental organization Acción Ecológica.  For over twenty years her organization worked for to protect Yasuní from the oil industry.

In this issue

Editorial: EU climate target still not adapted to climate reality

On 8 September, the UN once again issued a report showing how governments are failing to take adequate action to implement the promises they made in the Paris Agreement. The so-called Synthesis Report on the Technical Dialogue from the First Global Stocktake showed how governments are good at making ambitious collective commitments but fail to take the right action at home to turn these collective pledges into a reality.

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The importance and role of forests in Poland

A varity of forest types in Poland play an important role in the country's ecosystem and cultural heritage.

Poland is home to a variety of forest types, which cover an area of nearly 9.3 million hectares and account for 29.6% of the country’s total land area. These forests play an important role in the country’s ecosystem, economy and cultural heritage. The forests are dominated by coniferous species, which together cover 76.6% of the area. These include pine, larch, spruce and fir. Deciduous species appear on 23.4% of the area.

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