Located in the Ecuadorian Amazon just 155 miles from Ecuador’s capital Quito lies Yasuni National Park. This area of land encompasses 6,100 square miles, approximately the size of Delaware. Yasuni National Park is one of the most biologically diverse locations on Earth and is home to thousands of different species of organisms including (but definitely not limited to!) harpy eagles, jaguars, Ceibo trees, piranhas, and parrots. Many species that call Yasuni home are endemic, meaning that they only exist in this area of the world. With all of this being said, some would think that preserving the Yasuni National Park would be a priority.
Recently, an oil deposit containing 846 million barrels of crude oil was discovered immediately underneath the park which has a potential worth of over $7 billion. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government proposed a compromise known as the ITT initiative in which they would promise to leave the oil alone if the world community would compensate the money they would have earned. In the end, the compromise was not successful and drilling has begun in the park. Organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society are actively trying to work with the situation and have been starting conservation efforts of this land. To read more about Yasuni National Park and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s efforts click here!