Amazon Waters: Conserving Wildlife, Securing Livelihoods

April 29, 2013

Dr. Julie Kunen, Director of WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean Program, describes the value of Amazon waters to the lives of millions of people and a spectacular array of wildlife. These waters are facing steep threats from a combination of infrastructure development and climate change.

When most people think of conservation in the Amazon, images of rainforests – burned and bulldozed for cattle pastures and plantations –come to mind. And, indeed, in the past two decades some 325,000 square kilometers of rainforest in the region have been lost.

Fewer of us remember that the largest river system in the world originates in the towering Andes and the more modest elevations of the Brazilian and Guiana Shields. Water flowing through the Amazon Basin nourishes millions of people and innumerable and incredible diverse species of wildlife. Covering nearly 40 percent of South America, these waters exceed in volume the world’s next six largest rivers combined.

Continue reading Kunen’s blog post on NatGeo News Watch >>

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