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In reality, the chance of success seems to lessen by the day, but the issues raised by the Yasuni project won't go away. South America is becoming an increasingly important oil producer--the continent holds 20% of the world's proven reserves--and much of that crude is buried in and around the Amazon basin. That puts the rain forest in mortal peril: as the global need for oil grows, we're like drug addicts willing to pawn our valuables to pay for the next fix. Yet the financial burden of protecting our most biodiverse forests--nearly all found in developing nations--can't fall only on poor nations like Ecuador. Each of us benefits from the existence of forest reserves like Yasuni, and each of us should share in the cost of preserving them. If we can't protect the rain forest in Yasuni from the drive for oil, we may not be able to protect it anywhere else.