Rainforests wrap the equator of the earth like a green belt. After millions of years of evolution, they are the biologically rich ecosystems on our planet. Tropical rainforests contain a hugely rich diversity of species of plants and animals. They are also home to many different indigenous , who have unique and treasured cultures.
Rainforests are precious resources for all of us. They provide vital ecosystem for the whole world. They store water, regulate rainfall and a home to over half the planet’s biodiversity. But more importantly, they also play a crucial role in climate change.
Rainforests absorb almost a fifth of the world’s man-made CO2 every year. But tropical deforestation releases an extra 17% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. So if the rainforests are destroyed, it’s bad news on both counts.
Cutting down and tropical forests to clear the land in this way enables rainforest nations to provide globally traded commodities, such as timber, palm oil, beef and soy.
The world’s population is likely to increase from 6 billion to 9 billion over the next 40 years. This population , combined with rising incomes, will lead to a continual increasing demand for food, animal feed and fuel. And this, in turn, will lead to more destruction of rainforests – with devastating for everyone.
The Prince’s Rainforests Project believes that emergency funding is needed to help protect rainforests and to rainforest nations to continue to develop without the need for deforestation.
If we don’t take action, we could lose another 100 million hectares of tropical forests over the next 10 years – that’s an area the size of Egypt. Saving the rainforests will give the world a better chance to its goals of stabilising climate change, while also preserving important ecosystem benefits, not to mention the fact that over one billion of the poorest people on Earth depend the rainforests for their livelihoods.