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Ecuadoran Eden Saved By Charity January 6, 2012
Yasuni National Park
Yasuni National Park is a safe haven for indigenous people who have chosen to live in isolation.
The ecological devastation of one of the world’s most diverse wildlife habitats was at least temporarily put on hold when a coalition of donors paid Ecuador not to begin oil extraction operations there.

The country’s Yasuni National Park is thought to be home to more mammal, bird, amphibian and plant species than anywhere else on Earth, as well as being inhabited by two native tribes never before contacted by outsiders.

Ecuador said it would halt plans to mine an oilfield there if it could raise half of the $7.6 billion in revenue the operation could otherwise earn.

An alliance of companies, governments, foundations and even Hollywood film stars has managed to come up with $116 million, enough to temporarily halt the exploitation of the 722-square-mile heart of the park.

Photos: Municipal Government of Francisco de Orellana