A look into the diversity of Latin America's wildlife and the race to protect it.

From the Galapagos Islands to the Chesapeake Bay, from the Amazon River to the Colombian jungles along the Tropical Pacific, natural wonders are plentiful in the Americas. However, the continent is presently facing an existential challenge brought about by human activity. Balance: Biodiversity in the Americas goes to the battlefields of this conflict, where a diverse array of people is doing the hard work required to keep these treasures from disappearing.

We hear from Pedro Pinilla Bermudez in the tropical jungles of Choco, Colombia, the most biodiverse place on the planet. He recalls how he used to live off the sea turtles that nested on the pristine beaches along the Pacific coast, just like many members of his community. And how he realized, through research and experience, that these were resources to be protected and not harvested indiscriminately. Now he runs the NGO Mama Orbe, that aims to save a unique species of turtles from disappearing altogether from the shores of the Colombian Pacific.

Over in the enormous Chesapeake Bay, on the East Cost of the United States, we tag along with Jim Brighton as he methodically catalogues all the plant and animal species in Maryland. Through years of meticulous observation, he’s been measuring the loss of land to the sea, due to increased salinity in the waters and the decline of the marshes in the area.

Down in the Brazilian Amazon, hundreds of miles away from the nearest city, a group of engineers, scientists and researchers built a tower of 321 meters, the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory. The structure allows researchers to measure how the Amazon interacts with the atmosphere, from a molecular level to a global climate scale level.

Biodiversity is the variety of life on planet earth. Declining ecosystems threaten our way of life. Balance: Biodiversity in the Americas show some of the efforts being undertaken in Latin America and the U.S. to maintain a diversity of species and allow our society to function in perfect symmetry.



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