At a Glance
The South America Regional Mission Environmental Program serves Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
The Amazon region of South America hosts globally significant rain forests and is bordered to the west by the Andes mountains, whose glacial and rain-fed rivers supply the Amazon basin with water and hydropower. However, the region is at risk from rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and glacial melt. The forests of the Amazon have essential greenhouse gas sink and climate regulation functions for the world, but land use change, fire, and climate change impacts to forests have the potential to convert it to a global greenhouse gas source. USAID is working with governments, communities, the private sector, and academia to create sustainable solutions for maintaining forest landscapes in the Amazon Basin. Activities include partnering universities to strengthen scientific capacity in the Amazon, creating public-private partnerships that help smallholders preserve carbon-rich forest landscapes, and monitoring of deforestation from illegal activities in the Andean Amazon.