A rainforest is an area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall. Rainforests are Earth’s oldest living ecosystems, with some surviving in their present form for at least 70 million years. They cover approx. 6 % of Earth’s surface. Rainforests’ rich biodiversity is incredibly important to our well-being and the well-being of our planet. Rainforests help regulate our climate and provide us with everyday products.
MORE THAN HALF OF THE WORLD'S TERRESTRIAL SPECIES
They are incredibly diverse and complex, home to more than half of the world’s plant and animal species. A tropical rainforest may have more than 480 tree species in a single hectare. Rainforests are astoundingly dense with flora and fauna.
A 10-square-kilometer (4-square-mile) patch can contain as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies. And an unusually high percentage of life in the rainforest is found in the trees.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST RAINFORESTS
Rainforests thrive on every continent except Antarctica. The Amazon basin contains the world’s largest rainforest, which is nearly the roughly of the continental United States and covers about 40 percent of South America. Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest lies within the borders of Brazil.
The tropical islands of Southeast Asia and parts of Australia support dense rainforest habitats. Even the cool evergreen forests of North America’s Pacific Northwest and Northern Europe are a type of rainforest.
RAINFORESTS HELP FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING
When plants grow they sequester atmospheric carbon in their tissues via the process of photosynthesis. Because rainforests are full of large trees and other plants, they store massive amounts of carbon.
But when they are burned or chopped down, much of that carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
DEFORESTATION AND FIRES
Tropical forests are being destroyed at a rate of at least 8 million hectares or 31,000 square miles a year. That’s an area the size of the state of South Carolina or the Czech Republic that is chopping down every year.
Deforestation of the rainforest, often for agricultural purposes, creates conditions that are conducive for fires. The clearing and burning of tropical forests and peatlands accounts for about ten percent of greenhouse gases from human activities.
Sources: Mongabay, National Geographic, Climate Policy Initiative
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE RAINFORESTS
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the current shape and biodiversity of rainforests. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „RAINFORESTS“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.