It is one of the largest protected tropical rainforests in the world. The Guiana Shield is located to the northwest of the Amazon Forest and is home to an exceptional biodiversity. It plays a key role in the fight against climate change, by alone storing over a billion tons of CO2 in its trees and soils.
But this area does not escape deforestation and pollution: over 17,000 hectares of forest disappeared there in 2015, while several rivers have been contaminated with heavy metals, according to WWF.
At issue: illegal logging and gold mining, which are widespread in the region, but also the conversion of forests into agricultural crops, roads or reservoirs upstream from hydropower dams. And this despite the fact that a large part of this tropical rainforest is supposed to be protected.
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The preservation of the Guiana Shield comes up against a major obstacle: the area is managed by 6 different countries – Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, France (French Guiana) and Brazil – without consultation or the exchange of good practices.
However, the situation is changing. Three countries have just launched a joint program called “RENFORESAP”, which aims to strengthen their cooperation in order to better protect the area.