New Country Commitments Boost Protection of the Amazon


Guyana’s National Assembly recently approved a bill that provides a path for the establishment of a national system of protected areas. Guyana is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America, bordered to the south and southwest by Brazil and is the last to make such commitments in the Amazon region.  

Through this legislation WWF hopes Guyana will boost the percentage of their territory under protection from 2% to 17% by 2020. This target was set by the International Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), an international treaty that develops strategies for the conservation of the world’s valuable nature.

Why is this important to WWF?
WWF played an instrumental role in this success for the past 10 years by:
• providing comments on the draft legislation
• acting as a technical advisor in the development of the bill

Guyana is home to scarlet macaws, jaguars, more than a thousand species of trees and thousands of species of plant. The tropical climate spreads across many diverse habitats including rainforests, savannahs, low coastal plains and mountains. Unlike other areas in South America, the rich natural habitats of Guyana remain intact.

A plan for protection is crucial to maintain a healthy future for the species, habitats and people in Guyana. The bill requires the establishment of a Protected Area Commission and Protected Area Trust Fund, both integral parts to developing a protected area system. The legislation will also:
• advance the recovery of areas that are degraded
• recognize conservation efforts made by communities

The approval of the bill is the first step to protecting and conserving Guyana’s natural heritage.