Ecuador sends aid money back to Germany over planned rainforest visit

23 December 2014

A visit to a rainforest slated for oil drilling has blown up into a diplomatic row between Ecuador and Germany. Ecuador has said it will no longer partner with Germany on environmental issues and will return aid money, after the South American government discovered that German legislators were attempting to visit the much-embattled Yasuni National Park.

"If they think they had the right to doubt the word of Ecuador's government on the issue of Yasuni because they were providing funds, we'll give them their money back with interest," Ecuador's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, said. "Ecuador unilaterally ends all cooperation with Germany on environmental issues."

Ecuador has said it will return around $9 million in funds from Germany for environmental projects around the country. The country cancelled the visas of the visiting German legislators and did not allow them to visit Yasuni National Park as planned. The German legislators were set to meet with groups opposed to oil drilling in the park—which scientists say may be the most biodiverse on the planet—and to see on the ground the impacts of fossil fuel extraction.

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