If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rainforests will disappear within 100 years, causing unknown effects on the global climate and eliminating most of the planet's plant and animal species. People have been deforesting the tropics for thousands of years for timber and agriculture, but now, nothing less than the physical transformation of the Earth is taking place. Every year, around 18 million hectares of forest are cut down, an area the size of England and Wales. In just 40 years, possibly 1 billion hectares, the equivalent of Europe, are gone.
Half of the world's rainforests have been razed in a century, and the latest satellite analysis shows that new hotspots have emerged in the last 15 years from Cambodia to Liberia. At current rates, they will completely disappear in 100 years. Today, rainforests occupy only 2% of the entire land area and 6% of the world's land area, yet these remaining lush forests support more than half of our wild plants, plants and trees, half of the world's wildlife, sources that provide a quarter of the world's current medicines and 70% of plants that have anti-cancer properties are found only in the jungle. The rainforest and its immense undiscovered biodiversity are the key to unlocking tomorrow's cures for devastating diseases, and yet the destruction continues.
A drug obtained from a rainforest plant known as Madagascar periwinkle, now extinct in the wild due to deforestation of Madagascar's rainforest, has increased the chances of survival of children with leukemia by 20 to 80 percent. Think about it: 8 out of 10 children are saved, instead of 8 out of 10 children who die of leukemia. How many children have been saved and how many more will continue to be saved because of this unique rainforest plant? What if we didn't discover this important plant among millions before it became extinct due to the destruction of man? When our remaining rainforests are gone, rare indigenous plants, animals and cultures will be lost forever. Hundreds and thousands of these species are becoming extinct even before they are identified, let alone catalogued and studied.
How many cures have we already lost? The magnitude of this loss to the world was most movingly described by Harvard entomologist Edward O. The study's models predict that once deforestation reaches 30-50% in the southern Amazon, rainfall in the west will decrease by up to 40%, cementing deterioration in that environment, from lush tropical forest to arid and open savannah, Science Alert reported. Once a vast sea of tropical forest, the Amazon rainforest today is marked by roads, farms, ranches and dams. Indian knowledge that has withstood the pressure of modernization is being used by outsiders who, like oil companies and loggers who destroy forests, threaten to leave no profit behind.
This landmark ruling gives the Amazon River the same rights as a human individual and adds additional protection to the environmentally sensitive tropical forest. Earlier this year, a different study found that the Amazon ecosystem could collapse in less than 50 years, with deforestation being the main cause. Once a reforestation site is selected, local nurseries are asked to start growing indigenous tree seedlings. Consider visiting one of the sites below to learn more about efforts to combat deforestation and what you can do to help.
Longer dry seasons, which the rainforest is already experiencing and which are exacerbated by deforestation and the climate crisis, prevent rainforest canopies from recovering from fires. Forest conservation is essential; carbon accumulated in the 150 million hectares of forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is almost three times greater than global annual emissions. Indonesia, the world's sixth largest carbon emitter, pledged to reduce its emissions by 29% by ending illegal deforestation and restoring 12 million hectares of wooded land. Experts show that one hectare (2.47 acres) can contain more than 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants and it is estimated that one hectare of Amazon rainforest contains about 900 tons of live plants.
Reducing your carbon footprint is a great way to reduce greenhouse gases and curb the effects of global deforestation. Due to soil infertility and lack of knowledge of sustainable cultivation practices, this type of agriculture deprives the soil of nutrients in a few harvests and farmers continue to advance in the rainforest in search of new land. These machines can engulf more than 200 species of trees, which are currently cleaning 320 square miles of rainforest in Papua New Guinea to provide a fraction of the demand for these two industries. .