Millions of people and more than half of the world’s documented species live in the rainforest. But all over the world, the rainforests are under serious threat. The consequences are devastating.
It has taken humans just over 60 years to destroy half of what the earth has spent over 100 million years building up. When the rainforest is destroyed, the consequences are severe and irreparable:
- Unique animals and plants disappear for ever
- People lose their homes and are forced into poverty
- The planet is becoming warmer and the weather more unstable
- Between 10 and 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions happen in relation to deforestation
It is not too late to make a change
The battle to save the rainforest is difficult but we can do it. Here are examples of how rainforest has been protected:
- In 2017 the Managalas Plateau was declared the biggest conservation area in Papua New-Guinea, consisting of 360, 000 hectares of rainforest tucked between rugged mountains. For 20 years, the people of the Managalas fought for this right with thes upport of Rainforest Foundation Norway.
- Norway’s consumption of palm oil biodiesel saw a 70 percent drop from 2017 to 2018. A big win for rainforests and the climate.
- In 2019 the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s government pension fund divests four companies, including Olam International and Sime Darby Plantation, because of financial risk arising from tropical deforestation.
Half has been destroyed
It used to cover 13% of our planet, but humans have destroyed over half of the rainforest since WWII. Every year another 4 600 000 hectares of rainforest disappear – an area larger than Denmark.
Life in the tropical rainforest
The rainforest is warm and wet. Down on the ground, it is dark and difficult to find nutrition. That is why all the rainforest’s occupants are reaching to the sky to get their share of the life-giving sun.
The animals and plants of the rainforest
The small, narrow green belt of tropical rainforest around the earth only covers about 6% of the earth’s surface. But despite its size, over half of the world's species live there.
The people of the rainforest
Many of the poorest people in the world depend on the tropical forest to survive. They get what they need from the forest, the ground and the water. To support them, we need to protect their forest and livelihoods.
It's good for our climate
The yearly greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation is equal to the emission from all the cars in the world. The earth’s forests are a gigantic carbon storage. That's why conserving the rainforest slows down the global climate changes.