Infographic film about Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Initiative
Produced as part of the Extrastatecraft project at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2009)
Between 2007 and 2013, the Government of Ecuador proposed the Yasuní-ITT initiative to keep 20% of its oil reserves underground in exchange for a compensation from countries or institutions that would amount to half of the revenues Ecuador would earn by extracting this resource. The main objectives of this proposal were to avoid CO2 Emissions, respect indigenous people in voluntary isolation and conserve one of the world’s most bio-diverse forest.
It was a complex story to “sell” to the world as it involved innovative components like payments for not extracting a non-renewable resource based on the economical correspondence between the oil and carbon markets; and the inclusion of tropical forests as main stakeholders within the financial platform of climate change negotiations. A presentation of the Yasuní-ITT proposal in lecture format would usually take 45 minutes, an amount of time not always available in certain political contexts. A synthetic “elevator pitch” format was therefore needed to move the message forward. The video, first produced as an artistic critique on oil extraction in biodiversity hotspots, later evolved to become an effective political tool used by the actual Yasuní-ITT Commission and other government agencies as the base script that would lead to further negotiations with international cooperation agencies in Europe, the US and Latin America.