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. Ecuadoran warned about oil fields in nature preserve

by Staff Writers
Quito (AFP) Feb 9, 2008
Attorney General Xavier Garaicoa urged oil companies from China, Brazil, Spain and Ecuador to pull up their stakes from an Amazonian natural preserve to prevent "environmental and social problems."

The oil fields "are inside the Yasuni national park," which has been declared a world nature preserve and is home to the Tagaeri and Taromenane indigenous communities, Garaicoa said in a statement addressed to the government of President Rafael Correa.

He said the presence of the four oil companies -- Spain's Repsol YPF, Brazil's Petrobras, China's Andes Petroleum and Ecuador's Petroecuador -- in the region "could create environmental and social problems in the future."

He reminded the government of its international commitments in defense of the environment and human rights, especially the protective measures the Interamerican Commission has requested to keep the Tagaeri and Taromenane people in their voluntary isolation in the preserve.

"There's a pressing need for the oil fields to be removed from the protected area, even though their locations were set out before the Yasuni area was established," Garaicoa said.

With a daily production of 508,000 barrels of oil, Ecuador is the smallest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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