The Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet. It is home to many indigenous people including some who voluntarily maintain no contact with the outside world. Unfortunately the Yasuní also sits atop between 412 and 920 million barrels of oil and the oil companies are desperate to start drilling.
In 2007 the Ecuadorean government launched the Yasuní ITT iniative, promising to keep the oil in the ground if the international community financially and politically helped support Ecuador. The initiative was passed and 700,000 hectares of the park was declared legally untouchable. Five years later, many countries have not honored their promises. This alongside accusations of internal corruption has left the Yasuní ITT initiative hanging in the balance.
Photographer Julio Etchart traveled to the Yasuní national park and met the Huaorani community who have come up with their own way to keep the oil in the ground.
Read more about the Yasuní campaign and the Huaorani eco-lodge in this month’s New Internationalist (buy here)
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