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Thank you for demanding the highest standards of natural resource
management for the UNESCO Sumaco Biosphere Reserve!

Tena, Ecuador
January 21, 2010

Loss and Deterioration of Natural Attractions Cancel the
10th Annual Napo River Festival

The Ecuadorian Rivers Institute would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, and everyone who has participated in the Napo River Festival over the past nine years.

The Napo River Festival has taken place every January since 2001. The Festival was an international event which celebrated and promoted Ecuador's main tributary of the Amazon River.

The Napo River still flows freely without dams, contamination or human development in its headwaters. It is a living watershed that sustains an enormous biological and cultural diversity.

The Napo River Festival was initiated to promote the Napo watershed as a tourist destination . . . as a way to increase local unity and awareness of the importance and value of the water resources . . . to highlight cultural traditions . . . and as an educational form for the promotion of the concepts of sustainable development and conservation.

Regrettably, in the past year we have witnessed the loss and deterioration of many of the natural attractions that form the cornerstone of the tourist industry in the region. The current situation is so extreme that it has compelled our team of organizers to cancel the 10th Annual Napo River Festival.

The embarrassment caused by the destructive manner in which mining and development projects have been carried out, the level of impact to local attractions and the failure of local authorities to control or even respond to the situation have made it impossible to hold a "Celebration of the Napo Watershed and Its Importance to Everyone."

The current status of this unique resource to Ecuador and the world is cause for alarm rather than celebration.

The Ecuadorian Rivers Institute strongly urges the region's authorities to adopt a plan for economic development and environmental management that is compatible with the designation of the region as the UNESCO Sumaco Biosphere Reserve.

The Napo River Festival could one day resume if there is effective action by the government and local stakeholders to control the inappropriate activities and begin restoration of the impacted sites, and de-contamination of the rivers affected, as guaranteed by the Derechos de la Naturaleza or "Environmental Rights" of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador.

With great hope for positive response towards a new direction in the responsible management of the country's natural resources, on behalf of the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute, I wish to thank all of our supporters and send out my best regards until our next opportunity to celebrate again.


Matthew Terry
Executive Director
Ecuadorian Rivers Institute


Click on this link to make US tax-deductible contributions to the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute to address these watershed issues. For more information, call 1-888-353-9849 or write to info@ecuadorianrivers.org.


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