In 2003, the Study Abroad Journal visited the Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station located deep in the Amazon's Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve. As lead researcher I was personally exposed to the sensitive and fragile nature of the contiguous area, and wrote the following recommendation on behalf of the the Study Abroad Journal and the Universidad San Fransico de Quito (USFQ).
Study Abroad Journal strongly recommends that the Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station and surrounding neighborhood be entirely cosseted specifically for the purposes of study and conservancy in the name of all humanity -- and the intact area be placed under protective international supervision. This plan should be developed as soon as possible.
As part of the globalizing world, Ecuador’s universities share in the opportunity and responsibility of caring for the environment, and to cultivate the sustainable management of the Amazon Basin. In this context, we must support USFQ and all Ecuadorians to safeguard the rainforests’ vital natural beauty and diversity for future generations, insuring against destruction of the Tiputini area’s natural treasures.
Presently, many people in Ecuador are not deeply concerned about the conservation and protection of natural resources in the Amazon, and without these concepts in mind, and the lack of education in this respect, individuals cannot realize the extent that contaminates enter into the environment. Affecting all our lives, it’s difficult to know how seriously future planned developments will further affect and penetrate the Amazon’s land, water and sky.
The first priority is to help students and scientists to understand how much damage is being made from our environmental ignorance. These serious impacts are not only on Ecuadorians and their younger/incoming generations’ health, but also Ecuador’s future and long-term economy, which greatly depends on a sustainable environment. USFQ and Tiputini promote programs and awareness that innovate and cultivate environmental sustainability.
USFQ and Tiputini bring environmental awareness into the classroom and the education system, assisting Ecuador’s education engine to power and encourage research that innovates environmental sustainability, creating jobs and economic drive to research, monitor, and promote awareness.
USFQ sets a wonderful example as a progressive university that demonstrates responsibility. Ecuador’s future economy depends on its environment and setting a good example will be contagious to other universities! Ecuador must sustain and perpetuate the Tiputini station and support its isolation. If jeopardized, the unique biodiversity of this environment can never be reestablished or duplicated, resulting in the irreparable loss for Ecuador and all humanity regarding science, health, medicine, and the many educational mysteries still waiting to be unraveled.