TRANSLATED BY MELANIE JOUD AND THOMAS SHACKLOCK

The world has not yet revealed all its treasures. Many biodiversity reserves remain untouched by human activity. Faced with the depletion of natural resources, Man is stretching its limits and is reaching more and more isolated areas of the globe. These rare lands could be its passport to life for centuries to come. For one week, le Journal International is reviewing them. The treasure hunt has only just begun…

Previously in this series:

Part 1/5: “Under the Ocean…”

Part 2/5: “Antarctica, Arctic… beyond the glaciers”

The Amazon rainforest. Photo credit to Jean-François Renaud.

The Amazon and its surroundings are home to an incalculable number of plant and animal species.  Deforestation makes the earth unproductive and accelerates global warming. 80% of the primary forests have disappeared due to logging operation and breeding. The remaining shreds of forest are in Russia, Africa and the Amazon region, and they are complete treasures of natural life and almost untouched from human hands.  Research laboratories from all over the world are rushing on these territories to patent their discoveries.

The Green Ocean Amazon shelters rich and wide-ranging ecosystems, populated by unregistered vegetal and animal species. It provides rare tropical wood, a quality raw material for the industry and an important source of energy. Some of these plants have therapeutic qualities. Many referenced medicines across the globe contain substances coming from tropical forests. The international community does not seem to show support for biodiversity protection.

Gold from Guyana and Peru

The mining sector is essential for the economy of Latin America. Guyana and Peru shelter most of the biggest gold reserves in the world. Illegal trade rises in these tropical and vegetal areas because of the increasing price of gold. The exploitation of the territories led to the spillage of Mercury in the waters and destruction of the jungle. The presence of illegal workers maintain the violence networks based on arms traffic, drugs and prostitution.

The “lung of the world” is hiding treasures that could help us face the huge ecological challenge we are experiencing.

Til the end of the world….

Many territories remain unknown and represent unexpected resource reservoirs. Bolivia and its “white gold”, lithium, appears to be a new energy issue. Bituminous sands are making Canada a great oil producer, but the competition for natural resources is not only on earth as the conquest for space is becoming the new Eldorado.

Still to come in this series…

Part 4/5: “the lost worlds of the African continent”

Part 5/5: “the Asian paradises under rock”

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