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Ecuador: 'Give Me Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

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A Brown woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) leaps to a liana in the Yasuni National Park, Orellana province, Ecuador, on November 11, 2012. The Yasuni National Park contains Ecuador’s largest oil reserves, but its exploitation would imply impacts to pristine ecosystems, particularly watersheds. In 2007, the government of Rafael Correa offered a proposal to ban the exploitation of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil fields in Yasuni, if the world community compensates it, to leave the o | Getty Images/File

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

Read the whole story at NPR's Planet Money