Deforestation is a huge risk posed to the Amazon rainforest, which puts great pressure on social, industrial and ecological security due to the imbalance forced upon the complex and delicate system of resources on which the region depends. The Guiana Shield, at the northern boundary of Amazonia, is located at the start of two atmospheric rivers which carry moisture across South America. Deforesting less than a third of the Guiana Shield, in areas currently under threat from mining, logging and agricultural activities, could result in significant changes in the water cycle across the continent.
For the first time, ACT’s Amazon Science Research and Corporate Environmental Village will provide a major facility in a remote area, greatly suited for its purpose. INPA and Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, have confirmed, through their own continual research, that the area is of great botanical significance. The area is also a natural habitat for a vast range of faunal species, indicating the area’s huge capacity of biodiversity.
Animals in the rivers and on land show spectacular diversity: amongst mammals alone, over 40 species have been recorded, 10 of which are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being in danger of extinction. Important species abundant in the area include: Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), manatees (Trichecusinunguis), dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluvius), black caymen (Melanosuchus niger), pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), harpy eagle (Harpya harpija), jaguar(Panthera onca), spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).