Save Yasuni National Park
Established in 1979 and declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1989, the Yasuni National Park covers an area of 962,000 hectares in the basin of the upper Napo River in the western Amazon region. There are at least 2,274 species of trees and shrubs, and in a single hectare have been found up to 655 species; this is more than the total number of tree species in the United States, Canada and Mexico combined.
There are 593 species of birds, 80 species of bats, 150 species of amphibians, 120 species of reptiles, and more than 4,000 species of vascular plants. They have estimated that the insect population could be as high as 100,000 species. The Yasuni National Park is likely the most biologically diverse spot on the planet.
The Park is also known for its indigenous population. The Amazonian Quichua or Napurunas people, the Waorani people, and two groups in voluntary isolation, the Tagaeri and Taromenane all reside here. The Waorani people occupy most of the Yasuni National Park. Their reputation as brave and fierce warriors is widely known.
The Park is essential to the protection of all the cultures and species that dwell within. Yet, the Yasuni National Park faces many threats to its preservation. The impact of oil wells within the Park, the opening of roads for oil exploration, and the installation of oil wells have been damaging. Other threats include illegal timber extraction and climate change. Even with these threats a historic opportunity has arisen to secure this natural wonder for generations to come.
The chance of a lifetime
In 2007, with the discovery of large oil deposits in the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini field (ITT field) located northeast of the Park, President Rafael Correa presented before the United Nations the decision to keep oil at ITT field underground indefinitely, if the international community cooperates with Ecuador providing at least half of the profits that the State would receive in the case of exporting oil.
Ecuador is committed to maintain indefinitely untapped the 846 million barrels of oil reserves in the ITT field, located in the Park. The international community will participate with a financial contribution, creating a capital fund to be administered by an international trust, with the participation of the State, Ecuadorian civil society, and contributors.