La Guyane

La Guyane

With a 83 846 km2 of superficie1, Guyana is the largest department français.C is also the most wooded, 96% of the land being covered with equatorial forest that remains among the richest and least ecologically fragmented world.

French Guiana is one of nine outermost regions (ORs) of the European Union (EU). It is the largest region in France and Europe. This is also the largest continental EU in South America. Other territories (islands) of the EU - Netherlands Antilles, Falklands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - are also in South America.

Its official name is "Guyana". The addition of the adjective "French" in the common names is a convenience of language after the colonial period. There are several Guianas: Guyana (formerly British Guiana or English), Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana or Dutch) and Guyana. They fit within the Guayana Highlands with some duVenezuela, bounded by the Orinoco River, and north of Brazil, bounded by the Amazon.


Like many cliches of French Guiana, Guyana is the name of native origin. It means "land of many waters" in Native American.

A variant of obsolete French name was spelled with two n's, "Guyana" 2.

Native Americans and Europeans

The earliest archaeological evidence (pottery, rock carvings, polishers ...) to Native Americans between the Maroni and Oyapock back to the sixth millennium BC. Many of their successors in the same geographical area mainly belong to the group of Tupi-Guarani language.

It is estimated that by the end of the third century, the Arawak Indians and Palikur, from the banks of the Amazon, settled on the Guyana coast. They are followed in the eighth century by the Indians called Caribbean or Karibes the Kali'na (Galibis) and Wayana.

The coast of Guyana was recognized by Columbus in 1498. Despite sharing the New World, organized by the Treaty of Tordesillas between Portugal and Spain (1494), European nations are behind many attempts at colonization in Guyana since the sixteenth century.

Beginning in 1503 the first French settlements in the area of ​​Cayenne. Note particularly that of the French voyage of Nicolas Guimestre in 1539, followed by that of the Englishman Robert Baker (1562) and that of Gaspard de Sotelle (1568-1573) which implements more than 120 Spanish families on the island of Cayenne .

From 1596 to 1598, the Englishman John Ley and Lawrence Keymis, and the Dutchman Adrian Cabeliau, conduct reconnaissance precise geographical coast of Guyana. The real human settlements occur mainly in the seventeenth century, by one-off occupations (some years) of river mouths, and are the work of France, England and Netherlands.

In 1604, the colony of Guyana took the name of Equinoctial France.

Slavery [edit]

If the first significant attempts of French colonization date from the 1620s, they are often undermined by internal divisions settlers, poor human relations with the Indians, even the harsh living conditions, including yellow fever. For their part, the Indian nations face a high mortality rate, due not to wars against the Spaniards, but to the action of newly imported epidemics in Africa and Europe.

Long, the authority of the king of France in Guyana is regularly contested, it is only with the resumption of Cayenne in December 1676 by Admiral Jean Estrée that the French are implanted permanently. And yet they do not control the island of Cayenne and, intermittently, a few military posts to river estuaries. This human presence and military loose largely the extreme ease with which the Portuguese of Brazil took over the island of Cayenne during the Napoleonic wars, island they occupied from 1809 to 1817.

Human colonization of Guyana is primarily the result of European workers, the "committed", also known as the "thirty-six months" because under a contract of three years to their master. This quasi-European slavery, lack of volunteers, is quickly replaced by an easement of African origin, which is used in homes (farms) to the culture of colonial products: sugar, spices, chocolate and coffee. As in other French colonies, slavery was a great party governed by the provisions of the Code Black (1685). The Housing Corporation remains the dominant economic model in Guyana until the second abolition of slavery in 1848. However, it has failed to bring true development in Guyana, the region remains poor and under-populated and even cursed the whole French colonial America.

The Kourou expedition, conducted from 1763, but very ill-prepared to establish a true European settlement of farmers in the savannas of western Guyana, is a resounding failure: almost all the colonists 'survivors' flee Guyana to reach the metropolis. Only stay in Guyana settlers from Germany and Canada, establishing themselves permanently in Kourou, Sinnamary Malmanoury, and Corossony Iracoubo, and founded a company original (and mixed) farm operators in Guyana.

During the Revolution (1798), Guyana is the first time a place of exile of political opponents (the "deported Fructidor") and refractory priests: Counamama Sinnamary and will be the graveyard of most of them.

Abolished in 1794, slavery was restored by Napoleon in 1804. It is permanently deleted by decree on 27 April 1848, under the leadership of the great abolitionist Victor Schoelcher. The disappearance of the slave labor puts a stop to the traditional colonial economy.

To overcome this lack of manpower, develop Guyana, but also rid the metropolis of republican political opponents and ordinary criminals, the Second Empire creates prisons in Guyana. They welcome transported, deported and also relegated until 1946. In the 1930s, the special penal institutions, known as "sweatshops Annamites", are located in the Territory of Inini. Populated by political opponents and intellectuals Indochinese, but also petty criminals, thieves and pimps, these prisons will be a bitter failure.

Tests settlement of Guiana by workers 'free' from immigrant (Africa, India, USA, Madeira ...) will not be sustainable.

The gold rush [edit]

In 1855 gold was discovered a site in eastern Guyana on Arataye, a tributary of the Approuague. In the West, gold is extracted from the river Inini (high-Maroni). The early twentieth century was marked by a gold rush, with 10 000 active researchers, leading to growth of local commerce often artificial, and the last stop of agricultural activities due to lack of manpower.

Following the example of Reunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique, French Guiana became department overseas in 1946. But the economic boom is struggling to achieve due to high production costs, the small size of the population, the trade dependence (imports) vis-à-vis the hexagon and the dearth of the most basic infrastructure : routes, schools, health system etc..

The Exile [edit]

Guyana will remain a French colony until 19 March 1946, where she obtained the status of department overseas. She is famous for the Cayenne penal colony that made his reputation as only 3% of prisoners have survived [ref. desired]. France expected of prisoners they were also settlers. But it was a failure. The closure of the prison was obtained after the Second World War, following the publication of 27 articles by Albert London and at the instigation of Gaston Monnerville. It was in 1938 that the last convoy of convicts was en route to Guyana but it was not until 1945 that the Constituent Assembly decided to repatriate the survivors who wanted (very few remain). The operation took eight years.


Based European Space

In 1964, General de Gaulle took the decision to build a spaceport in French Guiana, to replace the base located in Saharan Algeria, and develop the Guyanese economy. The Department's position is preferred, near the equator with a wide opening to the ocean. The Guiana Space Centre, since the first rockets 'Veronica', has greatly expanded over the years. Europe's Spaceport with launchers like Ariane 4 and Ariane 5, which proved a commercial success in the monde34, the Guiana Space Center is also developing the program Vega, and Soyuz launch base construction at the end Malmanoury.

In 1982, the decentralization laws come into force and skills transfer takes place to the local authorities who will become involved in development of Guyana. Reference: [1]


Administrative division [edit]

Guyana is both an administrative area and a French overseas department (DOM), the prefecture is Cayenne. It is with laGuadeloupe and Martinique in the West Indies, the French Departments of America (DFA).

Regionally, Guyana elects a regional council.

At departmental level, Guyana is divided into 19 cantons each of which elects a councilor to form the General Council of French Guiana.

It is expected, following approval by the Guyanese in a referendum held on 24 January 20105, to merge the Regional Council and the General Council in a single assembly or "unique community".

At the municipal level, there are 22 municipalities headed by mayors. Some of these common, and as Maripasoula Camopi have areas larger metropolitan departments. In addition, some municipalities are subdivided into villages supervised by captains.

In addition, Guyana is represented nationally by two deputies (see districts of Guiana) and 2 senators.

She is also the largest of the nine outermost regions of the EU.



Three political tendencies share the Guyanese politics. The two main political forces remain, like the rest of France, right Loyalist, represented by the UMP and the loyalist left, represented by the Guyanese Socialist Party (PSG), the Walwari (PRG), the democratic forces Guyana (FDG), the Socialist Party (PS) and the Greens.

The third policy trend, is the extreme-left independence, championed the guyanité, represented by the movement of decolonization and emancipation MDES.

Elected officials present at the council meeting from Guyana voted unanimously to recognize the flag of Guyana. .



The city of Kourou hosts, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) (launch base of Ariane launcher and European civil commercial satellite).

In the nineteenth and early twentieth, she was best known as a place of deportation of convicts sentenced to hard labor in the penal colony of Cayenne. The prison was abolished, but there are still buildings on the Islands of Hi, in Saint-Laurent du Maroni, etc..

Guyana is the border of Brazil (about 730 km), making Brazil the country with the longest land border with Guyana, before leSuriname (about 510 km). It has an equatorial climate. Its capital is Cayenne.



This country is among the world's richest biodiversity in both animal and vegetable.

The Guyanese forest is a primary forest with very high level of biodiversity (hot-spot among the richest in the world), protected by a new national park and six nature reserves. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the European Union (EU) to recommend special efforts protection6.

Following the Grenelle Environment Forum in 2007, the Bill Grenelle II (in its Article 49) has proposed (in 2009, and subject to change) the creation of a single entity for Guyana to contribute to the policies of knowledge and conservation of natural heritage Amazon (with expertise in the fields of wildlife, flora, natural habitats and semi-natural terrestrial, coastal and river, and on ecosystem functioning). It will help to implement environmental policies conducted by the State and local authorities and their associations. The Art of Bill 64 also provides a "departmental scheme of orientation mining" for Guyana, promoting mining compatible with the requirements of preserving the environment.7.

The environment of the coastline is one that, along the RN1, has historically experienced the most changes, but is a strong artificial locally observed along the RN2 and where the miners are operating west of Guyana .

Rainforest of French Guiana has paradoxically flourished on one of the poorest soils in the world, nitrogen, potassium, and organic matter enphosphore. For this reason, and because this area has always maintained shelters for all species during dry periods or glaciation land, this forest is home to unique ecosystems that are among the richest and most fragile of the world: primary rainforests very old, mangroves, savannas and inselbergs many types of wetlands.

Soil acidity is also the cause of this poor land of Guyana. It requires farmers to apply lime fields, and led to the traditional slash and burn: the ashes are involved in raising the potential hydrogen (pH) in addition to the contribution desels minerals.

It may be noted that Terra Preta sites (anthropogenic soils) were discovered in the territory, especially near the border with Brazil. Research is actively conducted by actors of multiple disciplines to determine the mode of creation of these soils richest in the world. The hypothesis was advanced that the very existence of the rainforest is due to the intelligent human intervention in the past (see the article Terra preta), where the burn (slash-and-burn) was replaced by coal mining (slash -and-char).

5500 plant species have been recorded, including over a thousand trees, 700 species of birds, 177 species of mammals, over 500 fish species of which 45% are endemic him (the fish "slime" and fish scales) and 109 species of amphibians. Microorganisms would be much more numerous, especially in the north that rivals the Brazilian Amazon, Borneo and Sumatra. The only French department has at least 98% of vertebrate fauna and 96% of vascular plants of France.

The threats to the ecosystem are fragmentation by roads, which remains very limited compared to other forests in South America, and delayed impacts of dam-break Small EDF, gold panning (Operation anaconda in Guyana), a chaotic hunting and poaching facilitated by the creation of numerous trails and the appearance of quads. Logging remains moderate due to lack of road, on both the difficulty of the climate and terrain. An order of 28 July 2005 extended the code to French Guiana forest, but with important exceptions and adaptations. In an approach that is sustainable, concessions or free transfers may be granted by local governments or other entities for use by individuals who traditionally living from the forest, but the means are no longer always traditional means, and the ecosystem is vulnerable Guyana, the impacts of logging and hunting could be significant.

Half of biodiversity is French Guiana: 29% of plants, 55% higher vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish ...) and up to 92% of the insects. All this in a single department of 86 504 km ². A national park and six nature reserves work to preserve habitats and species as diverse unique sources.

The beaches of the Amana Nature Reserve, on the town Awala-Yalimapo in the west, are for a sea turtle nesting site exceptional. This is one of the largest worldwide for the leatherback turtle.

Economy [edit]

Guyana's economy is heavily dependent on the metropolis and the space industry (CSG). There are few direct flights to destinations in other countries of South America, except Brazil. However, it is possible to visit the rest of America with stops at Pointe-à-Pitre, Pole Caraibes (Guadeloupe) or Fort-de-France-Aime Cesaire (Martinique).

The official unemployment rate in the second half of 2010 was 21% .8

Major cities (2007) [edit]

Cayenne, 58 369 inhabitants

Saint-Laurent du Maroni, 34 336 inhabitants

Kourou, 25 918 inhabitants

Matoury, 25 191 inhabitants

Remire-Montjoly, 18 947 inhabitants

Macouria, 8386 inhabitants

Mana, 8,322 inhabitants

Apatou, 6360 inhabitants

Maripasoula, 5584 inhabitants

St. George, 3692 inhabitants

Grand-Santi, 3430 inhabitants

Sinnamary, 3137 inhabitants

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