Why Rainforest?
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.

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.


“Nature can be our strongest ally in combatting climate change. In fact, as deforestation accounts for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions it isn’t overstating things to say we cannot defeat climate change without enlisting the help of the natural world.” – Tim Jarvis.

Keep rainforest standing

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.

A view through trees over pristine rainforest
Home to 350 million people

People have lived in the forest for countless generations and depend upon it for everything – food, clothing, medicine, water, their entire identity.

A further 1.6 billion depend on the rainforests for their livelihoods. This means one in ten people in the world rely upon the rainforest.

But rainforest people are not just victims of deforestation. They are the only thing that will keep rainforest safe. Local people have been conclusively proven to be the forest’s most effective custodians.

This is why each of our projects starts with a rainforest village.

"Action to preserve the remaining areas of rainforest is needed urgently in the fight against climate change. Cool Earth is supporting local communities to protect their forest livelihoods and is providing powerful examples for action on a big scale"

Sir Nicholas Stern, Economist and author of the Stern Review

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