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guiana river and forest
sea tropical forest guiana

French Guiana


French Guiana

French Guiana is located 7500 km from Paris. With an area of ​​83846 km², this territory counts 262527 as 3 hab / km².

Most of the population major rivers borders while the interior of the territory is sparsely populated.

French Guiana, the European land in the Amazon, contributes greatly to the national and European balance of biodiversity and carbon.

Indeed, one hectare of Amazon rainforest is the equivalent of the biodiversity of all of continental Europe. For example, this represents 98% of vertebrates and 96% of vascular plants in France.

Hence the importance of the work carried out by research organizations on the knowledge and protection of Amazonian bioresources and of the interest of collaboration between Amazonian countries on the subject.

French Guiana in a few numbers

A square meter of biodiversity in French Guiana corresponds to the biodiversity of continental Europe.
H2020 projects

FORWARD project manager : Karine LEOPOLD
0594 27 59 69


Presentation of French Guiana

French Guiana is the only continental territory
of France and the European Union in South America.
High place of biodiversity and one of the 
richest in the world (animal and vegetable), half of French
biodiversity is in French Guiana :
29% of plants, 55% of higher vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, etc.) and up to 92% of insects. All this in a single department of 86,504 km2.

  • A national park and six nature reserves work to preserve diverse and unique environments and species. The beaches of the Amana Nature Reserve, in the town of Awala-Yalimapo, in the west, constitute an exceptional nesting site for sea turtles. It is one of the most important globally for the leatherback turtle.
  • As a space port of Europe, French Guiana
    naturally turns to tele-applications with a particularity on the uses in isolated zone, taking into account the extent of the territory

  • In the field of tropical health and emerging diseases, most tropical areas of the planet are suffering from pandemics of vector-borne diseases (malaria, crazy, chikungunya and Zika) which affect between 80 and 100 million people and cause nearly 3 million deaths annually. Numerous research laboratories have mobilized in the fight against these pandemics. Interesting avenues for control are aimed at the use of bio-based molecules.

French Guiana in a few words :

  • HISTORY : the first archaeological traces (pottery, rock carvings, polishers, etc.) of Amerindian peoples between the Oyapock and the Maroni date back to the 5th millennium BC.
  • LOCATION :  in the northeast of the South American continent, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Suriname to the west and Brazil to the south and east. It fits into the Guianan plateau that extends from Venezuela to Brazil.
  • TOTAL LAND AREA : with an area of ​​83,856 km23 Guyana is the second region of France for the area. It is also the most wooded department, 97% of the territory being covered by an equatorial forest which remains among the richest and least ecologically fragmented of the world, the Guyanese forest.
  • WILDLIFE : 5,500 plant species have been listed, including more than a thousand trees, 700 species of birds, 177 species of mammals, more than 500 species of fish, 45% of which are endemic to it (“silt” fish and fish with scales) and 109 species of amphibians. Microorganisms would be much more numerous, especially in the north which competes with the Brazilian Amazon.
  • CLIMATE : French Guiana  has a humid equatorial climate; the average temperature is 25.5 ° C. Cayenne experiences a wet season from December to July and a drier period during the rest of the year.
  • STATUS : Overseas Department and region of France, Outermost Region of the European Union. French Guiana has, since the territorial elections of December 6 and 13, 2015, a sui generis local authority called Collectivité Territoriale de Guyane.
  • LANGUAGE : French is the official language of French Guiana but many other local languages ​​are also used. The second most spoken language in society is Guyanese Creole. Six kushi kondé languages ​​(black browns), spoken by the Guyanese or Surinamese Busi-Nengue (Surinamese for the French Academy): bonus languages, saramaca, paramaca, djuka, mataray, kwenty, aluku. The other regional languages ​​are six of the seven Amerindian languages ​​(Arawak, Palikur, Kali’na, Wayana, Wayãpi, Swivel), as well as Hmong (Lao language). Finally, the other communities that make up a significant part of the population speak Portuguese, English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, etc. daily.


Demographic information

French Guiana has 296,711 inhabitants. It is the fastest growing population in France, and second least populated region of France behind Mayotte. In the West of the territory, the population is growing faster than in the agglomeration of Cayenne.

The population is increasing sharply : it could increase to 424,000 inhabitants in 2030, according to INSEE, if the trends observed from  1999 to 2009 continue, due to a high rate of natural growth (excess births on deaths) and under the effect of significant immigration from neighboring countries (Brazil, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname).

Resulting from discontinuous periods of strong immigration, the Guyanese population is cosmopolitan: in 2015, one inhabitant in three is of foreign nationality. Due to the youth of its population, French Guiana is the region with the lowest mortality rate. She is also the youngest after Mayotte, with one in two people under 25 years old. In French Guiana, 30% of families are single-parent families. This does not exclude that they are often large families.

Economic information

The year 2018 continues the dynamic of economic recovery that began in the second half of 2017. In a favorable regional, national and international context, the implementation of the emergency plan provides additional guarantees of confidence to businesses to produce and invest, and to households to consume.

The space industry remains dynamic and invests to cope with intensifying competition. Although waiting, the construction sector is facing construction sites of importance for a few years.

As for the tourism sector is at its highest and the demographics still strong and demanding. Salaried employment is increasing in all sectors of activity, making it possible to lower the level of unemployment.

Research and innovation

French Guiana is the only European department in the Amazon. This gives it a geographical particularity and an undeniable asset within the European Union.

To add, the research and innovation strategy is based on key areas called strategic action areas. They are now funded by the European Regional Development Fund and European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentOperational Programs by the European Commission through its Regional Innovation Strategy (SRI-SI).

As a result, these areas represent a real added value for the European Union and focus in particular on its rich biodiversity.