Yasuni National Park

Indigenous peoples defend Earth's biodiversity—but they're in danger

Comprising less than 5% of the world's population, indigenous people protect 80% of global biodiversity. Their role is under discussion by world leaders this week.

Bromeliads, ferns, and orchids cover a kapok tree in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. The region is home to stunning biodiversity, much of it watched over by indigenous people.
Photograph by Steve Winter, Nat Geo Image Collection

Read This Next

An ambitious new Florida trail links two U.S. national parks
How reading the night sky helped Black Americans survive
Does a woman’s fertility really plummet at age 35?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet