Illegal logging and hunting threaten Yasuní isolated indigenous groups

Indigenous people of the Waorani community of Ñoneno. Images were taken on a trip along the Cononaco and Curaray rivers. Photo by Edu León

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  • A preliminary report on illegal logging in the Tagaeri-Taromenane Intangible Zone reveals a complete law enforcement abandonment of the eastern part of Yasuní National Park.
  • People living inside Yasuní National Park have denounced the presence of Peruvian timber and bushmeat traffickers in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
  • Experts fear the constant pressures to which the isolated indigenous groups are subjected in the Intangible Zone will trigger massacres and increase the likelihood of extinction of isolated populations.
  • Multiple NGOs are preparing to file official complaints against the violation of environmental and human rights by illegal logging and hunting pressures.

    In the depths of the Ecuadorian Amazon, on its border with Peru, indigenous communities have been denouncing what they say is an uncontrolled onslaught of illegal logging and hunting. They claim that Peruvians traffickers penetrate into their territory along the Curaray River in the province of Pastaza.

    The problem is about to worsen, according to ecologists. They say the destruction wrought by these illicit activities threatens not just one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, but also endangers isolated indigenous groups that live within Yasuní National Park and the adjacent Tagaeri-Taromenane Intangible Zone (ZITT). This is happening despite precautionary measures issued in 2006 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which pressured the Ecuadorian government to safeguard the territory and the indigenous peoples that depend on it.

    In response, groups like the Waoranis, Kichwas and Záparas denounced illegal logging and hunting in their territories.  The latter group is located in Coca, the capital of the Amazonian province of Orellana, which was created in honor of the Capuchin missionary of the same name who dedicated his life to protecting Peoples in Isolation (PIA) from the oil and logging interests that proliferated in the territory in the late 1980s.


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