Colombia's Guaviare RiverColombia's Guaviare River

Inirida, Colombia, Apr 15 (EFE).- Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guiana, French Guiana and Suriname share the Guiana Shield, the oldest intact tropical forest on the planet, where deforestation and mining are being resisted in the fight against global warming. 

This paradise of 270 million hectares (667 million acres), a transition landscape between grasslands and the Amazon jungle, regulates the stability of the world's climate and sustains many natural species, though its location in remote areas has made governmental research and development difficult.

If the Amazon region is the planet's left lung, the Guiana Shield is the right one, with 25 percent of the world's tropical forests concentrated in these six countries and an interconnection of large rivers flowing into the giant Orinoco and carrying close to 15 percent of the world's fresh water.

The Colombian government has proposed that this region be declared a wetlands area protected by the Ramsar Convention, to which mining authorities are opposed, afraid they won't be able to exploit the minerals in the rivers and forests of the Guiana Shield.

Another threat is deforestation, which releases between 18 percent and 25 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions that reach the atmosphere, scientists said.


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