Conservation project covering tropical rain forest and wet savannah
Kanuku Mountains Project
Almost 80 percent of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in the north-east of South America still consists of near-natural tropical rain forest and tropical wet savannah where there is still minimal human influence. Guyana hosts many types of Amazon flora and fauna, but the geologically ancient mountain ranges of the Guyana Shield are also home to the biological peculiarities which allegedly inspired Conan Doyle to write his science-fiction novel "Lost World".
One reason such large areas of the natural environment remain intact is the low population density: with only 3.7 inhabitants per square kilometre of land, Guyana has the lowest population density in South America (800,000 inhabitants in an area covering 215,000 km2). By comparison, the most densely populated country, Ecuador, has 54 people per square kilometre, Peru has 23 and in adjacent Venezuela and Brazil the figures are 31 and 23 respectively.
In 2011 the Guyanan parliament passed a law to set up three conservation areas to be managed by the newly created Protected Areas Commission (PAC). One of the areas is the Kanuku Mountains conservation area in the south of the country, measuring over 6,000 km2. The completely forested Kanuku mountains are up to 1,100 in height and are uninhabited. They are located in the heart of the Rupuni savanna but directly abut the vast rain forest in the east. The Kanuku Mountains are one of the most ecologically diverse areas in Guyana; they include savanna and gallery forest in the lowlands and rain forest in the mountainous area.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE DOING?
- Advising the new Protected Areas Commission on setting up the Guyanan conservation area system
- Supporting the PAC in establishing administrative and monitoring systems for the Kanuku Mountains conservation area
- Helping to update management plans
- Helping to draw up monitoring plans and biodiversity surveys
- Liaising with representatives of other interest groups such as indigenous communities, Conservation International and regional planning authorities