Forests help to provide us the very air we breathe, yet we still cut down Portugal-sized chunks of forest every year. Tropical forests cover less than just 5% of the Earth’s surface, but global deforestation threatens their long-term survival, as well as the survival of the wildlife – and Humans – that rely on them.
Through deforestation, we are not only generating the comparable levels of global greenhouse gas emissions of all the cars and trucks on the planet – we are diminishing one of our greatest partners in addressing climate change.
Forests, including the Amazon rainforest, absorb and store more carbon than exists in the Earth’s atmosphere. Destroying them, on the other hand, emits significant amounts of carbon dioxide right back into the atmosphere and reduces the amount of extra carbon that can be absorbed on Earth.
Forest products like timber, fruit and nature-based pharmaceuticals also account for US$ 300 billion in annual revenue. Additionally, each tree that lives at least 50 years provides enough breathable oxygen for about four people per year, truly making them ‘the lungs of the Earth’.