Guyana, officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country located in the Caribbean. Located in the north of the continent, Venezuela is located in the west, Suriname in the east and Brazil in the south; its northern sides have coasts on the Caribbean Sea. The country’s largest city and also its capital is Georgetown.
The territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes 1° and 9°N and longitudes 56° and 62°W, one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.
The country can be divided into five natural regions; a narrow and fertile marshy plain along the Atlantic coast (low coastal plain), where most of the population lives; a whiter sand belt containing most of Guyana’s mineral deposits (a rugged sand and clay region); dense rainforests in the south of the country (Forest Plateau Region); drier savanna areas in the southwest; and the smallest inland plains (inner savanna), mostly consisting of mountains rising up to the Brazilian border.
The four longest rivers are the Essequibo, 1,010 kilometers long, the 724 kilometers long Courentyne River, the 595 kilometers (370 mi) Berbice, and the 346 kilometers (215 mi) Demerara. The Courentyne river forms the border with Suriname.
Guyana has one of the largest intact rainforests in South America, with some areas inaccessible to humans. Guyana’s rich natural history was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles Waterton, and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell. In 2008 the BBC aired a three-part program called The Lost Land of the Jaguar, which highlighted the great diversity of wildlife, including undiscovered species and rare species such as the giant otter and harpy eagle.
Guyana received a $45 million award from Norway in 2012 for its efforts to protect its rainforest. This is due to a 2009 agreement to protect and maintain its natural habitat, totaling $250 million internationally. The country has so far received $115 million of the total grant.