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Yasuni National Park

yasuni national park ecuador, yasuni national park map
Yasuni National Park Spanish: Parque Nacional Yasuní is in Ecuador with an area of 9,823 km2 between the Napo and Curaray Rivers in Napo and Pastaza Provinces in Amazonian Ecuador The national park lies within the Napo moist forests ecoregion and is primarily rain forest The park is about 250 km from Quito and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989 It is within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people Yasuni is home to two uncontacted indigenous tribes, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane


  • 1 Biodiversity
  • 2 Oil reserves
    • 21 Other threats to the park
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 External links


Yasuni National Park is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on earth The park is at the center of a small zone where amphibian, bird, mammal, and vascular plant diversity all reach their maximum levels within the western hemisphere Moreover, the park breaks world records for local-scale less than 100 km2 tree, amphibian, and bat species richness, and is one of the richest spots in the world for birds and mammals at local scales as well

The park holds a world record 150 amphibian species for places with comparable landscapes It also is at the top for amphibian diversity compared to other sites sampled in the western Amazon The total of its amphibian species is more than the United States and Canada combined Reptile species in the park is also very high with 121 documented species found In spite of covering less than 015% of the Amazon Basin, Yasuni is home to approximately one-third of amphibian and reptile species The park also harbors high levels of fish diversity with 382 known species This number is greater than the amount of fish species found in the Mississippi River Basin Yasuni also is home to at least 596 bird species which comprises one-third of the total native bird species for the Amazon The park is also rich in species of bats On a regional scale, the Amazon Basin has an estimated 117 bat species, but on a local scale, Yasuni is estimated to have comparable richness In a single hectare, Yasuni has over 100,000 different species of insects which is roughly the amount of insect species that can be found in all of North America The park also boasts one of the world's richest levels of vascular plants It is one of nine places in the world that has over 4,000 vascular plant species per 10,000 km2 The park contains many species of trees and shrubs and holds at least four world records for documented tree and liana richness as well as three world records for diversity in woody plant species The park also hosts a list endemic species such as 43 different species of vertebrates and 220–720 different plant species A species of bat, Lophostoma yasuni, is endemic to the park

Treefrog Osteocephalus yasuni is named after the park

Oil reserves

Yasuni National Park is home to an estimated 17 billion barrels of crude oil - 40 percent of Ecuador's reserves – in the Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha ITT oil fields Environmentalists and scientists such as Jane Goodall, EO Wilson, and Stuart Pimm urged the government to leave the resources untapped In response, President Rafael Correa launched the Yasuní-ITT Initiative to protect the park's natural resources in June 2007 The initiative promised to leave the park undisturbed in exchange for compensation from the international community Not drilling in the park would prevent 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air, officials said The government hoped to generate funds of at least 50 percent of the profits that it would receive were it to utilize the oil reserves In total it hoped that US$36 billion would be raised over 12 years At the time, the plan was hailed by environmentalists as a precedent setting decision that would reduce the burden of environmental preservation on the world's poorer countries

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton, filmmaker and global ecological activist/scientist Michael Charles Tobias, and former Vice President of the United States Al Gore were among those who pledged support to the Ecuadorian government Countries contributing funds included Turkey, Chile, Colombia, Georgia, Australia, Spain and Belgium However, fundraising efforts were inhibited by Ecuador's insistence that the government alone would decide how any funds raised were spent

In July 2013, Correa formed a commission to evaluate the Yasuni-ITT initiative's progress to date The commission concluded that the economic results were not sufficient On August 15, Correa scrapped the plan citing poor follow-through from the international community "The world has failed us", he said, calling the world's richest countries hypocrites who emit most of the world's greenhouse gases while expecting nations like his to sacrifice economic progress for the environment Through an executive order, he liquidated the Yasuni-ITT trust fund formally ending the initiative During the six-year history of the initiative, only US$336 million had been pledged, Correa said, and of that only US$133 million had actually been delivered

Correa also said he had commissioned economic, legal, and technical studies on drilling in the region in preparation for the national assembly formally opening the park to drilling He said expanding Ecuador's oil production was essential to furthering his economic projects that have won him widespread support among the nation's poor He said the drilling would affect only 1% of the Yasuni basin A spokesperson said the drilling could be conducted without damaging the environment Environmentalists strongly objected to opening the park to oil exploration Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the presidential palace after Correa's announcement Indigenous people and environmentalists called for a national referendum on the issue This referendum called the Yasuní-ITT Initiative was enacted in 2007, and by 2009 pledges of support from around the world came to around 17 billion dollars The money pledged insured that it would be possible to fund the initiative, with support from the international community Oil production accounts for one-third of Ecuador's national budget

Other threats to the park

Colonization, deforestation, illegal logging, and unsustainable hunting are affecting the park at present

See also

  • Finding Species
  • Tiputini Biodiversity Station


  1. ^ "A Durable Yet Vulnerable Eden in Amazonia" nytimescom Retrieved 4 March 2015 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Yasuni: Ecuador abandons plan to stave off Amazon drilling" The Guardian Associated Press August 15, 2013 Retrieved August 17, 2013 
  3. ^ a b c Hector, Andy; Bass, Margot S; Finer, Matt; Jenkins, Clinton N; Kreft, Holger; Cisneros-Heredia, Diego F; McCracken, Shawn F; Pitman, Nigel C A; English, Peter H; Swing, Kelly; Villa, Gorky; Di Fiore, Anthony; Voigt, Christian C; Kunz, Thomas H 2010 "Global conservation significance of Ecuador's Yasuní National Park" PLoS ONE 5 1: e8767 doi:101371/journalpone0008767 PMC 2808245  PMID 20098736 
  4. ^ Read, M and Ron, S R 2011–2015 "Osteocephalus yasuni" Ron, S R, Guayasamin, J M, Yanez-Muñoz, M H, Merino-Viteri, A, Ortiz, D A and Nicolalde, D A 2016 AmphibiaWebEcuador Version 20160 Museo de Zoología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador QCAZ Retrieved 29 May 2016 CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter link
  5. ^ Editorial, Reuters "Ecuador boosts oil reserves in ITT field to 17 bln barrels" AF Retrieved 2017-10-17 
  6. ^ Yasuni Rainforest Campaign - Leading Scientists Letter Saveamericasforestsorg 2005-02-14 Retrieved on 2013-08-22
  7. ^ Finer, M, R Moncel, CN Jenkins 2010 Leaving the Oil Under the Amazon: Ecuador's Yasuní-ITT Initiative, Biotropica 42:63-66
  8. ^ a b c d Alexandra Valencia August 16, 2013 "Ecuador to open Amazon's Yasuni basin to oil drilling" Reuters Retrieved August 17, 2013 
  9. ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton join Sea Eco-Conference" Contactmusic 2010-04-13 Retrieved 2012-03-14 
  10. ^ "Al Gore viajará a Ecuador para respaldar iniciativa ecuatoriana Yasuní-ITT" americaeconomiacom 2010-11-04 Retrieved 2012-03-14 
  11. ^ Temper, L, Yánez, I, Sharife, K, Ojo, G, Martinez-Alier, J, CANA, Combes, M, Cornelissen, K, Lerkelund, H, Louw, M, Martínez, E, Minnaar, J, Molina, P, Murcia, D, Oriola, T, Osuoka, A, Pérez, M M, Roa Avendaño, T, Urkidi, L, Valdés, M, Wadzah, N, Wykes, S 2013 Towards a Post-Oil Civilization: Yasunization and other initiatives to leave fossil fuels in the soil EJOLT Report No 6, 204 p
  12. ^ "Ecuador approves Yasuni park oil drilling in Amazon rainforest" 
  13. ^ Finer, Matt; Vijay, Varsha; Ponce, Fernando; Jenkins, Clinton N; Kahn, Ted R 2009 "Ecuador's Yasuní Biosphere Reserve: a brief modern history and conservation challenges" Environmental Research Letters 4 3: 034005 doi:101088/1748-9326/4/3/034005 

Further reading

  • Greenberg, J A; Kefauver, S C; Stimson, H C; Yeaton, C J; Ustin, S L 2005 "Survival analysis of a neotropical rainforest using multitemporal satellite imagery" Remote Sensing of Environment 96 2: 202–211 doi:101016/jrse200502010 
  • Hennessy, L A 2000 Whither the Huaorani competing interventions in indigenous Ecuador Master’s thesis, Berkeley, University of California, Berkeley
  • Lu, F E 1999 Changes in subsistence patterns and resource use of the Huaorani Indians in the Ecuadorian Amazon PhD dissertation Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Pitman, N C A 2000 A large-scale inventory of two Amazonian tree communities PhD dissertation Durham, Duke University
  • Vogel, JH 2009 The economics of the Yasuní Initiative: climate change as if thermodynamics mattered London, Anthem Press

External links

  • “Opinion: Yasuní and the New Economics of Climate Change” CNN Edition: International August 23, 2010
  • Yasuni Green Gold Campaign to save the park and its indigenous people
  • Yasuni Campaign by New Internationalist
  • Yasuni Campaign by Ecuadorian civil society organizations - Amazonia por la Vida
  • Background article at Deutsche Welle climate-project 'Global Ideas' on Ecuador's controversial plan to refrain from drilling for oil in its rainforests in return for money
  • Deutsche Welle report on Yasuni National Park
  • Oil Drilling Underway Inside the Yasuni National Park of Amazonian Ecuador, 2016 on YouTube
  • Where do we draw the line Documentary directed by Joseph Wordsworth, and produced by Cora Fern and Mike Smith, vimeocom/193289299

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