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WHY SAVE THE RAINFOREST

Recent human activities have caused a massive deterioration of the world's forest cover. Figures from Global Forest Watch indicate that in 2019 alone, 11.9 million hectares disappeared due to mining, deforestation, pollution, and industrial activities. Rainforests are worth protecting because they are essential mankind’s survival. Here are 4 important reasons why we as humans must work together to save the rainforests.

BIOLOGICAL TREASURE TROVE

Rainforests host the world's largest number of species, about two-thirds of the word's biodiversity. Unlike temperate forests, rainforests have a canopies that are crucial for the survival of rare and exotic species such as anteaters, monkeys, and salamanders.

Such species have a vital role as they actively participate in maintaining ecosystems by nourishing the soil.  Rainforests are precious hotspots for medicinal value as well. Scientists have developed remedies for diseases like Malaria by tapping into the therapeutic qualities of these forests. To date, we have still not tapped into the full potential for medicinal plants. Scientists believe there is a wide array of plant and animal species that are yet to be identified.

REGULATE WATER CYCLE

Water is a crucial component of our human existence, and rainforests play a critical role in making sure that we have water for our use.

The water in our environment undergoes what we call the hydrological cycle. Trees absorb the water through their roots and release it to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.

Vapor from leaves enter the atmosphere to form clouds. Eventually, rain pours, filling the rivers, oceans, and other water bodies in a continuous process. This circulation has an overall influence on the climate.

Forest cover provided by our Earth’s rainforests is a crucial aspect of controlling evaporation. The roots of trees ensure that water percolates adequately into the soil. This action provides an alternative water storage mechanism, which will later be released into the atmosphere.

HELP CURB GLOBAL WARMING

As we are aware, the world is currently experiencing global warming. This is a gradual increase in the overall temperatures of the earth's atmosphere. It has resulted in a significant change in climatic conditions, which has dramatic impact on the lives of those that reside in island nations like Kiribati.

This change results from greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs, and other pollutants attributed to by fossil, industrial, logging and other consequential human activities. Such human behaviors emit high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

However, the availability of plants and large trees in rainforests scrub atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis. This natural carbon capturing mechanism illustrates nature’s number one defensive mode for global warming. The byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen.

Rainforests have a localized cooling effect on the environment. This is achieved through increased humidity by transpiration, which also contributes to wind currents. Shade provided by trees provides cooling effects on the ground to support life.

GENERATOR OF LIFE

Apart from wildlife and natural species, rainforests provide a livelihood for many indigenous people. Examples include the Mayangna and Miskito, who have lived off the forests in Central America for a long time.

Rainforests have provided food, water, shelter, and medicine to people of forests for thousands of years. A wide range of foods such as bananas, nuts, coffee beans, and fruits such as pineapples and grapes originate from these natural forests. Thus, continuous and imprudent deforestation could cut off a significant food supply and restrict other natural uses. Other natural resources such as tree sap and timber cause additional threats by loggers.

10 MAJOR RAINFORESTS AROUND THE GLOBE

Forest

Area Covered (parts of)

Amazon

Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Congo

Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo.

Australasia

Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Indonesian half of New Guinea.

Sunderland

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Indo-Burma

Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Mesoamerica

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Wallacean

Sulawesi and the Maluku islands in Indonesia.

West Africa

Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Atlantic Forest

Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Choco

Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.

 

IN A NUT SHELL

 Rainforests are an essential asset to humanity. Preserving these precious lands is a critical and significant step in saving our planet from the destructions of climate change.

The survival of mankind depends on joining hands and fight the destruction of this valuable resource. The rainforests truly are Planet Earth’s biological treasure

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