The Amazon is a vast region that spans across eight rapidly developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France.
The landscape contains:
- One in ten known species on Earth
- 1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet's remaining tropical forests
- 4,100 miles of winding rivers
- 2.6 million square miles in the Amazon basin, about 40 percent of South America
There is a clear link between the health of the Amazon and the health of the planet. The rain forests, which contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, help stabilize local and global climate. Deforestation may release significant amounts of this carbon, which could have catastrophic consequences around the world.