From jaguars and pumas to giant otters and manatees, Ecuador's Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is a haven for all large Amazon mammals. But these incredible species (and their forest home) are threatened by oil exploration and illegal mining.

That's where the Rainforest Alliance comes in. We are working with 10 lodges in the reserve to introduce socially, environmentally and economically sound tourism practices. Local communities are now finding a sustainable economic alternative to unsustainable (but profitable) activities like mining and oil exploration.

We spoke with Veronica Munoz Bernal--the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable tourism manager in Ecuador--about the issues facing communities within the reserve and the benefits of our work in sustainable tourism.

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