Hollywood star Harrison Ford is continuing his work with Conservation International (CI) to promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, moreso forests. He recently launched a new interactive magazine called “Team Earth,” featuring Guyana.
The interactive magazine features Conservation International’s forestry concession in the Upper Essequibo, emphasizing the importance of the fresh water resources of the area.
The magazine quotes Henry James, a Conservation Officer, as saying that a clean Essequibo River provides fresh water, healthy fish, and a safe lifestyle for his family.
The feature on Guyana makes note of the fact that the incredibly pristine Essequibo River is surrounded in large part by the world’s first conservation concession.
In 2002, the Government here granted CI the world’s first conservation concession to protect 200,000 acres of primary forest in the Upper Essequibo.
The global conservation body says the aquatic eco-systems of the Upper Essequibo support an extraordinary diversity of life, and are among the most pristine freshwater systems on the planet.
At least 1,500 plant, 200 mammal and 500 bird species – as many as found in all of North America – are found in the vicinity.
Earlier this year, President Bharrat Jagdeo joined Harrison Ford to launch a bold back-to-nature response to climate change.
CI’s scientific team has proven that at least 20% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions result from the burning and clearing of tropical trees. That’s more carbon dioxide than is released by all the cars, trains, trucks and ships in the world!
Saving forests will slow climate change, CI said, since energy innovations will take decades to develop.
The campaign launched with Ford and President Jagdeo, entitled “Lost Here, Felt There,” was aimed at showing that what affects forests in one part of the world affects us all.
The interactive magazine is a follow-up to that campaign. The magazine showcases five ground breaking forest carbon initiatives around the world, including the Upper Essequibo concession.
The Potaro River’s spectacular Kaieteur Falls releases a torrent of clean, fresh, life-giving water into the mighty Essequibo.
As part of the greater Essequibo watershed, the falls represent a treasured, and threatened, fresh water resource in a world with a dwindling supply, CI declared.
The relatively undisturbed landscape of the Upper Essequibo River rests on an ancient geological formation, the Guiana Shield, an area that includes all of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana and extends into Western and Southern Venezuela and Northern Brazil.
These forests are the source of 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, and store 18 percent of the world’s tropical forest carbon. They serve as a remarkable global scale utility that benefits not just Guyanese communities, but people all over the world, CI stated.
“The aquatic ecosystems of the Upper Essequibo Conservation Concession (UECC) are one of the most pristine, if not the most pristine, on the planet,” scientist Dr. Philip Willink, of The Field Museum in Chicago, said after a 2007 survey.
The Macushi and Wapishana indigenous groups depend on the area’s natural resources; and communities near the concession – in Apoteri, Rewa, and Crashwater – helped to demarcate boundaries to ensure that the Conservation concession would not conflict with traditional claims.
The communities now benefit from US$10,000 every year to support various community projects, including a community-owned ecolodge in Rewa Village, livestock rearing, and handicraft.
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