In the heart of the Amazon basin lies the Yasuni National Park, the most biologically diverse forest on the planet.
It is home to the Huaorani and some of the last indigenous peoples still living in isolation in the Amazon.
But their ancestral lands sit on top of Ecuador's largest undeveloped oil reserves. At the end of 2007, the new government of President Rafael Correa offered an unprecedented proposal: Ecuador will not allow extraction of the oil fields in Yasuni if the world community can create a compensation trust to leave the oil permanently in the ground and fund Ecuador's sustainable development into the future. The photographs in Green Gold document and celebrate Yasuni's unique beauty and diversity--its flora, fauna, and the last indigenous groups still living in voluntary isolation anywhere in the Amazon.
The book offers a simple message to the world: Close the region to the black gold of oil exploration and instead acknowledge that Yasuni's value is priceless, and protect it and its people--without condition. The subject of a growing campaign by conservationists and climate change NGOs, Yasuni can become a world precedent for the new energy and development model that proposes leaving oil underground. The photographs are the work of Mauro Burzio, Italian photojournalist and specialist in ethnography and alternative tourism, commissioned by the local government of Francisco de Orellana, in which the 1.5-million-hectare Yasuni region lies.