The Yasuni National Park, known as "the lungs of the world" and one of the most bio-diverse places on earth, is under threat from oil drilling. The race is on to find the funds required to develop new sustainable energy programmes that would leave the oil - and the forest - untouched.
In the early light of dawn, the Napo River, running swiftly from its headwaters in the high Andes, swirled powerfully past the bow of our motorised canoe.
Suddenly, a dense cloud of green parrots swooped down from the canopy of the jungle and in a cackling din started scooping tiny beakfuls from the exposed muddy bank.
The heavy mineral rich clay, the birds seem to know, is an antidote to the toxins present in the seeds of the forest which are a major part of their daily diets.
As if on cue at 07:30 local time, as the first rays of the sun touched the water, they took flight and were gone and one of the most wonderful spectacles of Amazonian Ecuador ...