Critical location of the land trust
The Iyarina trust buys forest to protect an area of strategic importance for the sustainability of the western Amazon. Located on the South bank of the Río Napo, a tributary of the Amazon at the foot of the Andes, the Iyarina reserve is literally situated in the most biodiverse region of the world. The South bank of the Napo has much better preserved forest than the North Bank because, until about 1960, it was the territory of the feared and uncontacted Waorani and is only gradually becoming accessible in the intervening period. The forest trust is within 20 miles of the Waorani reservation which in turn borders on the Yasuni National Park to the East (which is home to as yet uncontacted tribes living in voluntary isolation), and to the Sapara, Andwa, Achuar and Sara Yaku Kichwa Kichwa nations to the South. Just to the west is an interprovincial highway running from North to south along the base of the Andes. The provincial capitols of Tena and Puyo with their expanding populations are located on this highway.
The forests of this area contain valuable hardwoods and beneath the soil throughout this region are deposits of gold and petroleum.
Between Iyarina and the Waorani reservation are other small private forest reserves including Jatun Sacha with some 2000 hectares and Selva Viva.
Land purchases will be made strategically so as to prioritize the creation of corridors toward other forested private and indigenous reserves particularly the Waorani nation. Protecting the watersheds from which the Kichwa commmunities along the Napo draw their drinking water. The Iyarina forest is located some 30 miles from the historic site of Palm Beach where 5 missionaries were speared in 1956.
"Sustainability Assessment of Smallholder Agroforestry Indigenous Farming in the Amazon:A Case Study of Ecuadorian Kichwas,"