South America

Home to the Amazon, the World’s Largest Forest

What's at Stake

Spanning nine South American countries and 2.7 million square miles (4.35 sq km), the Amazon is the world’s largest forest and is home to more than 120 indigenous groups and one in 10 known species. Unparalleled in its biodiversity, the Amazon is also critical to global climate stability.

Mining in Peru

Mining in Peru

Photo credit: David Dudenhoefer

The Amazon in Peril

Among the multiple threats to the Amazon rainforest, agricultural expansion is the biggest. Cattle ranching alone accounts for more than 60 percent of deforestation in the Amazon Basin, and industrial farming has also wrought severe destruction. Additionally, urban expansion, mining, petroleum extraction, dams, and irresponsible timber production have all led to a massive loss of forestlands.

Aerial view of deforestation in South America

Aerial view of deforestation in South America

Photo credit: David Dudenhoefer

Deforestation in the Amazon

One-fifth of all freshwater on the planet originates in the Amazon Basin. The Amazon also absorbs about 20 percent of the carbon caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Humans have razed some 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest over the last 40 years alone, and an additional 20 percent is at risk of being destroyed—a potentially catastrophic loss that would cause this vital ecosystem to unravel.

Our Work Our Impact

Our Impact

The most important impact of our work in high-risk regions of the Amazon—self-determination—is not quantifiable. However, we continually gauge the success of our approach by measuring both ecosystem health and the economic and social well-being of our partner communities.

Bagged Brazil nuts

Bagged Brazil nuts

Photo credit: Mohsin Kazmi

A Sustainable, Thriving Forest Economy

After working with the Rainforest Alliance for four years, communities in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon exported more than 4,000 metric tons of shelled Brazil nuts, representing a value of nearly US $31 million.

Land area under sustainable management

10 million acres

under sustainable management in South America

Data accurate as of December 31, 2015.

Our Reach in South America

We're working with forest communities, farmers, governments, and companies to conserve the Amazon Basin and protect its precious biodiversity. Together with our partners, we've brought 10 million acres (4 million hectares) under sustainable management.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
 
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Flow lines transporting crude oil

We’re working with forest-dependent communities in South America—and all over the world—to build sustainable alternatives to oil exploration.

Caetano Veloso in Floresta da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Andres Levin / Content-OS

Several of Brazil's most beloved musicians travel into the rainforest to celebrate the natural beauty of our planet.

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