French Guiana is a French overseas territory located in South America. It shares a border to the west with Suriname, along the Maroni River, and to the east with Brazil along the Oyapock River. It covers an area of 83,846 km2. The population numbers 268,700 inhabitants (INSEE, 2017) who live mainly in the capital of Cayenne and along the coast. The interior of the country is covered with dense equatorial forest and is only accessible by plane or canoe.
French Guiana officially became a colony of France in 1604. France applied the principle of “terra nullius” to appropriate the lands of the Indigenous Peoples. Since 1946, French Guiana is no longer a colony but remains administered by France. More than 90% of Guiana’s territory is owned by the French government.