Joint study of the Amazon – Forbes Argentina

For nearly seven decades, National Geographic and Rolex have built a powerful alliance to advance pioneering expeditions and preserve the natural world. Today, this society supports a mission in the 7,000-kilometer Amazon River basin. The plan is to improve knowledge and understanding of the region and find new ways to protect.

August 22, 2023 11:59 am

The water that the Amazon River basin discharges into the Atlantic Ocean Traveling over 7,000 kilometers from the Andes, This is 15% of fresh water on the entire planet. Under constant threat, these natural resources are in urgent need of protection.

A year ago, a select group of researchers went to the heart of the jungle, home to 3 million animal and plant species and 40 million people, to find the best conservation strategies for the area. Mission receives sponsored by Rolex and National Geographicwho have joined forces for more than seven decades in the pursuit of knowledge, advocacy for the conservation of nature and the promotion of exploration of the world.

Seven teams of multidisciplinary scientists -experts in various fields such as ecology, biology, hydrology, climatology, geology and geochemistry- turn their attention to the waterways of the region. They work with local and indigenous communities to understand their complex aquatic ecosystems and how they connect to the area, from the highest peaks to coastal forests. The plan is to combine knowledge from different fields to discover the complex and intertwined ecosystems that support the world’s largest fresh water basin.

Rolex National Geographic Amazon
Amazon basin. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/National Geographic.

Who is chronicling the expedition? Thomas Peschak, marine biologist and renowned nature photojournalist. As a privileged witness, he closely observes the various approaches to the mission: “These researchers are trying to answer the most important scientific questions about the flow of water in rainforests. They want to know how climate change affects deforestation and biodiversity loss. study the aquatic ecosystem and how it is interconnected: from human impact on carbon cycles in a river to carbon storage in mangroves, from flooded forests to pink dolphins swimming there, from snowfalls on Peruvian glaciers to fisheries that feed the inhabitants This multidisciplinary group brings together its scientific experience with deep and accurate knowledge of the local population to better understand the complex interconnectedness of the river basin and how it can be protected.”

jungle cry

Just one year after the release The Rolex and National Geographic Perpetual Planet expedition to the Amazon changes everything we know about the region. The key information was collected by National Geographic researchers Baker Perry and Tom Matthews, who They set up a meteorological station at 6,349 meters, very close to the summit of Nevado de Ausangate, the highest mountain in the tropical Andes. which serves as a source of water for much of the Amazon. From this strategic point, data is obtained on how warming affects the region and how it affects the rest of the planet.

This is not the only team that has already made discoveries that are the first in the world. Professor of Oceanography and Researcher in Coastal Ecology, Angelo Bernardino created the first documentation of freshwater mangroves; Winner of the Rolex Award for Initiative Joo Campos Silva and fellow National Geographic researcher, Andressa Skabin, became the first person to tag “GPS” (global positioning system) arapaima, the world’s largest freshwater fish; marine biologist Fernando Trujillo He studied 1270 kilometers of rivers in four countries and calculated that 1366 individuals of the symbolic pink dolphin of the Amazon River live in this region.

Rolex National Geographic Amazon
In the Andes, work is underway to study and protect the Andean bear. Photo: Florence Goupil/National Geographic.

Another great contribution is Thiago Silva, having a scientific education that combines ecology, geography and computer science. His project, which is in full development, collect the first three-dimensional model of the river floodplain which will be transformed into an interactive environment that people can visit and explore online. Shooting everything with his professional lens, Peschak is confident that such a big effort will soon pay off: “These experts will answer the biggest scientific questions about how climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss affect the water in the jungle.” .

mighty alliance

Supporting pioneers in new territory is a concept that Rolex and National Geographic have shared since 1954. In the same year, one of the magazine’s news details the historic ascent of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the highest peak in the world – Everest. The duo set off on an adventure armed with a watch from the Swiss brand.

The pioneering expedition gave the first impetus to the union, which strengthened over time. And what began as a society driven by a spirit of discovery later evolved into a virtuous bond seeking to respond to global warming. The actions that Rolex and National Geographic are taking today are part of the Perpetual Planet initiative. which the Swiss company created in 2019 to support individuals and organizations that, through science, are trying to understand environmental problems and find solutions that restore the balance of ecosystems.

Rolex National Geographic Amazon
The National Geographic team scans and measures leaves to understand their ability to absorb water. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/National Geographic.

Under the name Perpetual Planet Expeditions, Rolex and National Geographic have funded and supported numerous expeditions led by leading scientists and equipped with cutting-edge technology. The purpose of these missions was to uncover new insights into the impact of climate change on the systems that support life on Earth. From the highest peaks that function as natural “water towers” to the deep oceans and their power to influence the weather, the explorers supported by this alliance have made a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the world, revealing its beauty and fragility.

Nearly 70 years after they first joined forces, National Geographic and Rolex remain committed to the goal of nurturing curiosity, discovery and responsibility. The Eternal Planet Amazon expedition is a new milestone in this long-standing relationship. It is also a key event to raise awareness of the importance of conserving one of the most valuable and endangered ecosystems in the world.

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