Conservation & Outreach
The most species-diverse part of the planet, the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, undoubtedly deserves to continue existing in its most intact form far into the future. Consequently, our primary goal is the maintenance of our surrounding ecosystem. Striving to reach that goal, the station produces and disseminates information about our region, but our efforts go well beyond research and environmental education on site.
We are regularly involved in workshops with various villages that provide opportunities to share experiences and information. Such workshops may cover conservation concerns as well as management strategies for sustainable use of resources or alternative sources of income that are compatible with the nature of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. We also sponsor higher education opportunities for qualified indigenous students from our region. We recognize that local people have vested interests in the future of the region and want to be involved in all phases of management. By providing them with the necessary tools to argue their own positions before the government and industrial interests, they have a more powerful voice in what will happen on their traditional homelands.
Lectures and Workshops
TBS staff and researchers, often present public lectures about the nature of Yasuní and concerns for its future. Such lectures are also included in many courses offered at USFQ and are made to most groups that visit the station either as part of their orientation or during a visit. We have also participated in capacity building workshops as technical support for the Yasuní National Park administration. In 2017, TBS published a book directed toward high school students within the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, including the findings of multiple researchers over more than 20 years of exploration.
We frequently participate in the production of video documentaries on the nature of Amazonia. This is possible due to the abundance and diversity of wildlife in our region. Making images of nature available to the public at large through outlets like the BBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and PBS Nature, improves possibilities of conservation by allowing those who have little to no opportunity to visit the area to gain some appreciation for the unique species and exuberant ecosystems present. National and international news crews also regularly visit the station to acquire images to accompany reports on topics related to Amazonia. Directors and staff members are happy to entertain questions or share information and opinions about Yasuní and its future.
TBS is a working member of committees that interact frequently for the continual improvement of situations associated with the Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Our participation at this level includes meetings with governmental, industrial and indigenous representatives so that perspectives on the future of the region’s resources may be shared and interpreted. Also, since 2016, TBS is part of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Working Group for Ecuador, whose purpose is to provide a participatory platform that favors dialogue, involvement, deliberation and follow-up of the implementation process of the REDD+ Program in Ecuador.
TBS serves as a non-official guard post for the Yasuní National Park. We are proud to be part of the system that protects this reserve. Our presence provides constant vigilance in a remote sector that would otherwise only receive sporadic monitoring. Our regular travels along nearly 40 km of the river serve to patrol the area ever conscious of illegal activities such as poaching or timber harvest. We have also participated in several workshops for the training of park rangers.