The Amazonian Savannas of French Guiana: Cultural and Social Importance, Biodiversity, and Conservation Challenges

The Amazonian savannas of French Guiana are rare and of high ecological and cultural value but are also highly threatened. They are socio ecological systems that have been co-constructed by humans and nature and today form mosaic landscapes along the country’s coast. From pre-Columbian raised fields through colonial and Créole uses to contemporary uses, they have been largely shaped and modified by human activities. They are currently threatened by changes in fire regimes, agricultural practices, invasive species, and infrastructure development. Less than 3% are protected, despite their importance for several endangered animal and plant species. A shift is required in the way we think about their conservation to create a new strategy that would be completely different from existing French environmental protection tools and adapted to the complexity of these landscapes.

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