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Ecuador Yasuni ITT Trust Fund

The Yasuni Ishpingo Tambococha Tiputini Trust Fund (Yasuni ITT Trust Fund) is established for receipt of contributions from supporters of Ecuador’s historical decision to permanently forego the extraction of the Yasuni ITT oil fields (about 846 million barrels). The contributions will finance renewable energy and sustainable development investments such as avoidance of deforestation and conservation of ecosystems.
Through this unique initiative, Ecuador is addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainable development and gradually change its energy matrix from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources. The Yasuni initiative will avoid the emission of 407 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) by forgoing extraction and burning of fossil fuels, protect one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world and maintain the livelihoods of the area's indigenous people. In addition, it will lead to savings of 800 million metric tons of CO2 from avoided deforestation and reforestation it will promote nationally.
In the spirit of co-responsibility, Ecuador is requesting the world community to contribute 50 percent of the income it is forgoing, amounting to US$ 3.6 billion (over a 13 year period), with the balance being the contribution of the people of Ecuador to global goods. 
The Yasuni ITT Trust Fund, is administered by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Key Facts:
  • Yasuni: One of the most bio-diverse spots on Earth
  • One hectare in Yasuni contains more tree species than are native to the whole of North America
  • Ecuador indefinitely foregoes extraction of 846 mill. barrels of oil and more than US$ 7.2 bill. in income
  • Avoidance of 407 million metric tons of CO² emissions due to non-extraction and burning of oil
  • Avoidance of 800 million metric tons of CO² from avoided deforestation
  • 78% of Ecuadorian citizens support the Yasuni Initiative
  • The Yasuni ITT Trust Fund administered by UNDP was established in August 2010

The Yasuni National Park is one of the most important and diverse biological reserves in the world. It is home to the Tagaeri-Taromenane indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. Ecuador decided to maintain the crude oil in the ITT field indefinitely underground in order to put social and environmental values first. Ecuador will forgo 846 million barrels of heavy crude reserves and, in turn, become the first developing country to propose an effective, quantifiable and verifiable carbon abatement model. President Rafael Correa's vision of this pioneer proposal, unprecedented in the history of an oil-dependent country, has been received favorably by several governments, organizations and global citizens. The initiative proposes a new cooperative model between developed and developing countries. It is an opportunity for the world to consider an equitable paradigm of sustainable development, which in Ecuador refers to as sumak kawsay or life at its fullest.
Purpose, Principles and Structure of the Yasuni Fund
The Yasuni ITT Trust Fund will have two windows:
  1. The Capital Fund Window will be financed by contributions to the Yasuni Fund Account and finance renewable energy projects (hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass and tidal plants).
  2. The Revenue Fund Window: the replenishments will be financed from the contributions to the Yasuni Fund account as well as from annual revenue payments received from National Entities for the use of the Capital Fund Window funds. It will finance conservation, reforestation, energy efficiency, social programmes, and research and innovation.  

Yasuni Guarantee Certificates (CGYs)
In exchange for contributions, the Government will provide a guarantee to maintain the ITT field oil reserves within the National Park underground indefinitely. The Government will issue Yasuni Guarantee Certificates (CGYs) in US dollars equivalent to the face value of each contribution equal to or above US$50,000. Where the contribution is below US$50,000- the present minimum threshold established by the Steering Committee, it shall constitute a donation to the Yasuni ITT Trust Fund and will not entitle the Contributor to CGYs. The CGY is an instrument that does not earn interest and does not have an expiration or maturity date as long as the Government maintains its commitment not to exploit the Yasuni ITT oil reserves. 

The Yasuni ITT Trust Fund Steering Committee
The Yasuní Fund will be governed by a Steering Committee chaired by a representative of the Government. The Steering Committee will have six full members comprising of: (i) three representatives of the Government, including the Chairperson; (ii) two representatives from the Contributor Governments; and (iii) one Ecuadorian Civil Society representative, with UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP MPTF Office Executive Coordinator participating as ex officio members. The Committee will make decisions by majority aiming at consensus, with the Chairperson casting the deciding vote in case consensus is not reached. The key functions of the Steering Committee are to provide overall leadership of the Fund and set its strategic direction and oversight; review and make fund allocation decisions; authorize the release of funds; and oversee effective monitoring and evaluation of financed activities and ensure transparency. It will also ensure coordination with other relevant international initiatives such as UNCBD, UNFCCC, UN REDD…etc 
The Yasuni Fund Technical Secretariat 
The Technical Secretariat is an impartial entity providing administrative, technical and substantive support to the Steering Committee. It shall undertake four functions under one management structure: (i) Technical support; (ii) Project appraisal; (iii) Monitoring and evaluation; and (iv) Administrative support. 
The Government Coordinating Entity
As the Government designated Government Coordinating Entity, the Ministry of Heritage through the Yasuni ITT Coordination Office, in cooperation with the National Secretary of Planning and Development, is responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the Yasuni Fund portfolio implemented by national entities. It assumes full programmatic and financial accountability, on behalf of the Government, for activities implemented by the Recipient and Implementing Organizations. 
National Recipient and Implementing Organizations
Through the Government Coordinating Entity, National Recipient and Implementing Organizations will prepare proposals for funding and submit them to the Steering Committee for approval after review by the Technical Secretariat.
Project indentification and Review 
For detailed info on the Yasuni ITT Trust Fund project identification and review, release of funds, monitoring and evaluation and other policy and operational matters, please see the detailed Yasuni ITT Trust Fund Terms of Reference.

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