|Yasuní National Park|
On 20 November 1979 Yasuní was declared a National Park, in recognition of the fact that it contains great natural wealth that must be preserved.
In 1989 Yasuní National Park was made a World Biosphere Reserve as part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO. As a consequence of this declaration, the park’s management must comply with the Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserves, adopted at the International Conference on Biosphere Reserves held in Seville, Spain in March 1995. The strategy stipulates that in order to preserve their natural equilibrium and prevent pollution, the only activities that can be undertaken in a biosphere reserve are “cooperative activities compatible with sound ecological practices, including environmental education, recreation, ecotourism, and applied and basic research.”
In 1999, a portion of the park was declared an “untouchable zone”, which was delimited by the government in 2006. These zones are protected areas of exceptional cultural and biological importance in which no form of extractive activity can be undertaken due to their environmental value, not only for the region, but also for the country and the world.
All of these categories of protection were granted to this area with the goal of protecting and preserving countless endangered species of animals and plants. The protected area covers a total of 982,000 hectares.
The aim of creating the national park was the preservation of endangered species and protecting innumerable species animal and plant species, given that “any alteration or diminishment suffered by natural forests inevitably leads to the extinction or detriment of genetic diversity and thereby to the degradation of biodiversity.”.
National Park is also one of the world’s Pleistocene refuges,
which formed during the drastic climate changes that took place in
the Quaternary period. During this period, there was an alternation
between dry and wet climates, in which the Amazon forests grew or
shrunk. In the dry periods, islands of vegetation were formed that
served as refuges for species of flora and fauna and centres for the
formation of new species. One of these islands was located in the
Ecuatorian Amazon, in what has been declared Yasuní National
In addition, Yasuní National Park is believed to be the area with the highest herpetofauna diversity in all of South America, with 105 amphibian species and 83 reptile species documented. It is also home to a high diversity of freshwater fish, with 382 species recorded so far, as well as over 100,000 species of insects per hectare.