The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia, is the biggest rainforset in the world. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil,  followed by Peru, Colombia, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Unfortunately, human activity increasingly destroys the forest and much of its biodiversity.

The rainforest extends to an area of 6.9 million square kilometers, which is twice as large as the size of India.

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon river is more than 6600 kilometers long (the world’s largest river by volume).

Amazon River

 

Thanks to it’s size, the rainforest is home to about 2.5 million insect species,tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammalsThe Amazon is also estimated to have 16,000 tree species and 390 billion individual trees.

Psittacidae Parrot

 

Amazon is also home to 350 ethnic groups, such as the Indian tribe Huni Kui.

Huni Kui tribe

Some of the Amazonian tribes live in complete isolation, without any contact with the rest of the civilization. 

Amazon tribes

Unfortunately, in the last 50 years, 17% of the forest cover is lost, an area about the size of California.

Amazon fires

Droughts and high temperatures increase the risk of forest fires. Beside drought, another of the reasons for this is the human activity – to illegal logging, soy plantations, and cattle ranching.

One tree in deforested areaThe constant digging for gold is also a serious problem.

Gold searching in Amazon

The rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years.

In addition to its unparalleled diversity of life, the Amazon plays an essential role in helping to control the entire planet’s atmospheric carbon levels. The Amazon Basin stores approximately 100 billion metric tons of carbon; more than ten times the annual global emissions from fossil fuels.

The next five years are critically important for Amazonia. Increasing global demand for resources risks further deforestation that places the region, its people and the world at risk.