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EditPhoto Title:Amazonia
EditPhoto Description:The world’s greatest rainforest is also one of its most vital life support systems.
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_62030251.jpg
EditImage Description:Essequibo River, Guyana.
EditPhoto Credit:© Pete Oxford/iLCP
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Map of Amazonia. © Conservation International​​

The Amazon is so amazing, so vast, so beautiful, that it almost defies description. Its coffee touches our lips. Its medicines heal our bodies. Its trees clean the air we breathe.

And it’s disappearing — fast.

It’s up to all of us to protect this remarkable global treasure before we lose much of it … forever.

Why is Amazonia important?

Food We Eat

From the coffee you drink in the morning to the chocolate you eat after dinner, food from the Amazon quietly makes its way into all of our lives. Ensuring that this food continues to make its way to people around the world, without causing a catastrophe in the rainforest, is a global conservation priority.

Climate Stability

The Amazon is the largest land-based “carbon sink” on the planet — so important to our global climate that many people have called it “the lungs of the Earth.” Its forests absorb destructive greenhouse gases like CO2, filter the air we breathe and keep the entire planet hospitable to life.

Jobs and Prosperity

Some 31 million people live in the Amazon region, and their livelihoods depend directly on the natural resources in their backyard. For example: The market for açai berries, a “superfood” used in vitamins and energy drinks, generates more than US$ 250 million per year in the Brazilian state of Amapa alone — creating thousands of jobs in harvesting, transportation, processing and sales.

Water We Drink

In just one day, more than enough fresh water flows through the Amazon River to supply New York City for an entire year. Tens of millions of people in the Amazon depend on this water for their daily survival — and scientists have shown that much of the rainfall from regions outside the Amazon actually originates in the region.

Medicines from Nature

As many as 120 prescription drugs sold worldwide today derive directly from plants found in rainforests — including the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world. And more than two-thirds of all medicines found to have cancer-fighting properties come from rainforest plants. Still, the vast majority of tropical rainforest species have yet to be analyzed for their medicinal value.

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EditSection TitleWhat are the issues
EditSection Description:
EditSection ID (Anchor Tag):issues[Optional]



EditCircle color:fact--brown    
EditCircle icon:icon-forest_fire
EditResult value:20%
EditResult field:of the Amazon cut and burned
Already, 20% of the Amazon region has been cut and burned to build ranches, croplands and roads. Despite the success of many conservation efforts, the Amazon loses an area of forest the size of Haiti each year — and that’s expected to double over the next decade.


EditCircle color:fact--orange    
    EditCircle icon:icon-sun
    EditResult value:57%
    EditResult field:affected by a 'mega-drought'
    EditText:Climate change
    Rising temperatures and unreliable weather patterns are making it harder for Amazon farmers to grow their crops. And the severe droughts that affect parts of Amazonia today could, in time, turn much of the rainforest into grasslands and weaken the region’s ability to absorb harmful carbon pollution.


    EditCircle color:fact--dark-blue    
    EditCircle icon:icon-dam
    EditResult value:277
    EditResult field:dams planned for the future
    EditText:Growing energy demands
    Amazonia is developing rapidly. Already, 154 hydroelectric dams are in operation, with 277 planned for the future. While hydroelectric energy is vital for the people of the region, it can also backfire. Increasingly, deforestation and climate change threaten to change rainfall patterns and reduce the amount of energy the dams will provide.
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    CI’s solutions

    We need a global transformation of the way the world manages fresh water. CI is working to make that happen. We work to protect the places around the world that people rely on most for drinking water, agriculture and other uses. Our projects start with sound science and offer innovative solutions that can serve as models for conservation anywhere on Earth. Given the critical link between nature and human health, we work to break down the barriers that exist between conservation and health organizations, and we encourage leaders to consider the value of nature in the decisions they make, especially about dams and other large-scale development projects. By doing so, we’re promoting clean water for all.

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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_29685988.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Mountains in Calha Norte, Brazil. © Adriano Gambarini
    EditCaption Title:Protecting the Heart of the Amazon in Calha Norte, Brazil
    EditCaption Description:The large, remote area of intact forest in northern Brazil is especially resilient to climate change — so protecting its plentiful water and other natural resources must happen in tandem with sustainable development.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/Protecting-Heart-of-the-Amazon-in-Calha-Norte-Brazil.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More


    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_90849779.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:© Cristina Mittermeier
    EditCaption Title:Brazil’s Kayapó: Stewards of the Forest
    EditCaption Description:Indigenous territories and other protected areas are some of the most valuable places in the Amazon, giving us food, water and the air we breathe. CI works to promote better management, design and financing for these territories — so they can continue to benefit people for generations to come.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/kayapo-stewards-of-the-forests-brazil.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_72841958.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Woman peeling cassava in Guyana. © Pete Oxford/iLCP
    EditCaption Title:Supporting Low-carbon Livelihoods in Guyana
    EditCaption Description:To secure a sustainable future for Guyana, we are working to improve livelihoods in the ecologically sensitive Rupununi region through natural resource management.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/supporting-low-carbon-livelihoods-in-guyana.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_15980416.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Sunrise in the Pampas, Bolivia. © Jonathan Hood
    EditCaption Title:Creating Healthy Sustainable Societies in Bolivia
    EditCaption Description:Bolivia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world — now new development of roads and other infrastructure could increase pressure on the country’s vast natural resources.
    EditLink URL:/projects/pages/creating-healthy-sustainable-societies-in-bolivia.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16600245.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Boys doing cartwheels in Bahia, Brazil. © Cristina Mittermeier
    EditCaption Title:Bolsa Verde: Improving Livelihoods and Conserving Forests
    EditCaption Description:The Bolsa Verde program aims to promote conservation of Brazil’s important ecosystems and simultaneously improve livelihoods for people living in extreme poverty — the condition for nearly 17% of the population in the Amazon region.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/Bolsa-Verde-brazil-Improving-Livelihoods-and-Conserving-Forests.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_55108398.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Essequibo River, Guyana. © Pete Oxford/iLCP
    EditCaption Title:Amapá: A New Development Model for the Amazon
    EditCaption Description:Amapá is home to Brazil’s largest area of protected tropical forests — but social and economic development must occur alongside conservation.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/amapa-new-development-model-for-the-amazon.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More


    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_26635787.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Santa Cruz highland forest. © Will Turner
    EditCaption Title:Economic Incentives to Protect Ecuador’s Forests
    EditCaption Description:Families and indigenous communities are receiving direct economic incentives to conserve their native forests. The program is alleviating poverty for thousands of Ecuadorians.
    EditLink URL:/projects/pages/Economic-Incentives-to-Protect-Ecuadors-Forests-socio-bosque.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More


    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_66112480.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Tayrona National Park, El Cabo San Juan. © Christopher Schoenbohm
    EditCaption Title:Adapting to a Changing Climate in Colombia
    EditCaption Description:The water, coasts and mountains of Colombia directly benefit 80% of the population — and are critical to protecting against climate change impacts.
    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/Adapting-to-a-Changing-Climate-in-Colombia.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_47283891.JPG
    EditImage Alt Text:People working in a tree nursery in the Alto Mayo Protected Forest. © Thomas Muller
    EditCaption Title:Developing a Sustainable Economy in San Martín, Peru
    EditCaption Description:CI and the San Martín regional government's collaborative work is leading the path toward a new sustainable economic development model for Peru.
    EditRead More Link:/projects/pages/developing-a-sustainable-economy-in-san-martin-peru.aspx[Optional]
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    EditCall to Action Title:What can you do?
    EditCall to Action Description:People need forests like the Amazon. That’s where you come in. When you protect an acre of forest for $25, you’ll help create a healthier, more prosperous, more productive planet, for you and for everyone.
    EditCall to Action Button Description:Protect an acre
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    You can also help if you...

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    Video Section

    Edit Section Title:Watch
    Edit Section subtitle:Can you actually make money from keeping forests standing? In the Amazon, Guyana is showing the world how it can be done.
    Edit Video ID:twa835SItow
    Edit Video Thumbnail (must be 16x9 pixel ratio):[Optional]
    Edit Video Page URL:/pages/video.aspx
    Edit Video image alt text:Video: Guyana’s Green Gold: Keeping Forests Standing
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    Edit Section Title:Shop smart
    Edit Section subtitle:Support companies that sell responsibly harvested wood.
    Edit Button link:/pages/what-you-can-do-tips.aspx#shop-smart
    Edit Button text:Learn more
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    First Image

    EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

    Second Image

    EditImage Alt Text:Clouds rise through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorilla. © Benjamin Drummond

    Third Image

    EditTitle:Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape
    EditImage Alt Text:Fish swimming in Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Central America. © Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
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