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Cool Earth | Aerial drone footage of rainforest in Papua New Guinea
Why Rainforest?

We depend upon the rainforest for everything

Why Rainforest? Deforestation is a major cause of climate change – putting more CO2 into the atmosphere than all of the world’s transport combined.
Why Rainforest? Rainforests generate a fifth of the world’s oxygen, the lifeline of species on Earth.
Why Rainforest? Moisture from the rainforest travels around the world, with the forests of the Congo affecting rainfall in America’s Midwest. Each acre of rainforest releases 76,000 litres of water a year.
Why Rainforest? Despite only covering 6% of the world’s land surface, rainforests contain 2/3 of all biodiversity. 99% of this is still to be studied.

Rainforest is Earth’s most essential ecosystem, and we all depend on it for our survival.

In the Amazon rainforest alone, a single square mile of rainforest often houses more than 50,000 insect species.

Tropical forests have the highest carbon density of all forest types due to their ability for vast carbon sequestration. Therefore, protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions we can take to tackle climate breakdown.

Deforestation releases as much carbon into the atmosphere as the global transport sector and destroys the best carbon capture and storage technology we have.

The reality of climate change is no longer up for debate. It is real and it is happening now. Our changing climate is the most pressing challenge facing our world today. Forest loss plays a major part in this, contributing to more than 12% of all CO2 emissions. Keeping rainforest standing is the simplest and cheapest way to mitigate climate change.

Despite this, we are destroying the world’s rainforest at a faster rate than ever.

Why Rainforest?


Of the world’s remaining forests,
46% are fragmented,
30% are degraded,
and only 24% are intact

This loss is not just a crisis for the planet but a tragedy for local people who depend upon the forest for everything.

 

In 2018, over 12 million hectares of rainforest – the size of Belgium – were cut down. With increasing logging, palm plantations and small-scale slash and burn, we need to take action today if we want rainforest to exist in the next 20 years.

Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions we can take to tackle climate breakdown. But keeping pristine, primary rainforest standing strong is also essential for many further reasons:

 

Fresh Water

Fresh Water

Rainforests are part of a global irrigation system – the ‘biopump’ that helps form clouds and distribute fresh water around the planet. As rainforests shrink, droughts increase, already affecting crop growth worldwide.

Supporting People

Supporting People

Rainforests are home to 350 million people around the tropics. They are essential for shelter, health and food as well as being an intrinsic part of their cultures and traditions.

 

Rich Biodiversity

Rich Biodiversity

Megadiverse ecosystems, rainforests are home to millions of species. And protecting these are vital. We are losing around 135 plants, animal and insect species every day. That’s 50,000 species a year, due to deforestation.

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon Sequestration

All plants absorb carbon dioxide, storing it in their leaves, stems and roots. The planet’s rainforests are capable of providing 23% of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed before 2030 [1].

Albedo Effect

Albedo Effect

Like the polar ice caps, tropical rainforests reflect heat back into space. This is called the albedo effect. By keeping mature forest canopy in the equatorial latitudes, we are reducing the heat absorbed by the land.

Fertile soils

Fertile soils

A single spoonful of soil in the rainforest contains 10,000 to 50,000 different types of bacteria and supports millions of species of fungi, plant and animal If deforestation happens, the nutrients and bacteria are lost, for good.

To keep rainforest standing,
Cool Earth puts people first. 

Cool Earth partners with local communities to find the best ways to protect their forests. Learn about our approach here:

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