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Tree of Rivers

May 26, 2014

Scientists from WWF have developed a new set of tools for planning ‘greener’ human development in the Amazon Basin in South America.

This new animation explains how WWF’s Hydrological Information System – Amazon River Assessment methodology (HIS / ARA) uses scientific data on how this vast rainforest and river system functions to asses if and how development (such as hydropower schemes) might take place along the 100,000 km of freshwater in the biome whilst minimising negative impacts on surrounding ecosystems.  

The animation shows how the HIS / ARA project sees the Amazon as an integrated ‘vascular system’ of interconnected ecosystems. The project models ecosystem and hydrological data from the ecosystem scale all the way up to the whole Amazon basin in order to identify priority areas for conservation.  This work is intended to show the most crucial freshwater ecosystems in the wider functioning of the Amazon basin, which are likely to be irrevocably degraded by human development, and so help strengthen their conservation and protection.

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