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Forests are more than just a collection of trees—they are integrated ecosystems and home to some of the most diverse life on Earth. They are also major players in the carbon and water cycles that make life possible. When forests are lost or degraded, their destruction sets off a series of changes that affect life both locally and around the world.
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of the world’s forests are already destroyed
DEFORESTATION COMES IN MANY FORMS, INCLUDING FIRES, CLEAR-CUTTING FOR AGRICULTURE, RANCHING AND DEVELOPMENT, UNSUSTAINABLE LOGGING FOR TIMBER, AND DEGRADATION DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE.
of forests are properly protected
TREES PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN THE WATER CYCLE, GROUNDING THE WATER IN THEIR ROOTS AND RELEASING IT INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. IN THE AMAZON, MORE THAN HALF THE WATER IN THE ECOSYSTEM IS HELD WITHIN THE PLANTS. WITHOUT THE PLANTS, THE CLIMATE MAY BECOME DRYER.
of the world’s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. This is not only a biodiversity tragedy but also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations who rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.
square miles of forest are lost each year. That’s equivalent to 36 football fields every minute.
THE UNITED STATES
has less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper
THE WORLD’S RAIN FORESTS COULD COMPLETELY VANISH IN A HUNDRED YEARS AT THE CURRENT RATE OF DEFORESTATION.
of all the plant and animal species in the world live in tropical rainforests
man destroys an area of forest the size of a football field
if forests are destroyed through logging or burning, their carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a climate-changing greenhouse gas.
of forests disappear from Earth each day!
THE REMOVAL OF TREES WITHOUT SUFFICIENT REFORESTATION HAS HAD ADVERSE IMPACTS ON BIO-SEQUESTRATION OF ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE, ALONG WITH DAMAGE TO HABITAT, BIODIVERSITY LOSS, AND ARIDITY.
tons of carbon are stored in Earth’s forests, which helps regulate it’s climate by regulating atmospheric gases, stabilizing rainfall, and protecting against desertification.
natural remedies in the rain forest can be used as medicines
DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION CAN CAUSE BIODIVERSITY TO DECLINE. WHEN FOREST COVER IS REMOVED, WILDLIFE IS DEPRIVED OF HABITAT AND BECOMES MORE VULNERABLE TO HUNTING. CONSIDERING THAT ABOUT 80% OF THE WORLD’S DOCUMENTED SPECIES CAN BE FOUND IN TROPICAL RAINFORESTS, DEFORESTATION PUTS AT RISK A MAJORITY OF THE EARTH’S BIODIVERSITY.
species are expected to become extinct by the next 25 years due to deforestation
MORE THAN HALF OF THE WORLD’S TIMBER AND 72% OF PAPER IS CONSUMED BY 22% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION (THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE, AND JAPAN). WORLDWIDE, INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES CONSUME OVER TWELVE TIMES MORE WOOD PRODUCTS PER PERSON THAN NON-INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES. THE UNITED STATES HAS LESS THAN 5% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION YET CONSUMES MORE THAN 30% OF THE WORLD’S PAPER.
20% OF CURRENT GREENHOUSE GAS
Tropical forest destruction accounts for about 20 percent of current greenhouse gas emissions.
REMOVING TREES DEPRIVES THE FOREST OF PORTIONS OF ITS CANOPY, WHICH BLOCKS THE SUN’S RAYS DURING THE DAY AND HOLDS IN HEAT AT NIGHT. THIS DISRUPTION LEADS TO MORE EXTREME TEMPERATURES SWINGS THAT CAN BE HARMFUL TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
get chopped down which are processed into pulp for making paper products including: chocolate, toothpaste, tissue paper, magazines and more…
WITHOUT TREE ROOTS TO ANCHOR THE SOIL AND WITH INCREASED EXPOSURE TO SUN, THE SOIL CAN DRY OUT, LEADING TO PROBLEMS LIKE INCREASED FLOODING AND INABILITY TO FARM. THE WWF STATES THAT SCIENTISTS ESTIMATE THAT A THIRD OF THE WORLD’S ARABLE LAND HAS BEEN LOST TO DEFORESTATION SINCE 1960. CASH CROPS PLANTED AFTER CLEAR CUTTING OR BURNING — LIKE SOY, COFFEE, AND PALM OIL — CAN ACTUALLY EXACERBATE SOIL EROSION BECAUSE THEIR ROOTS CANNOT HOLD ONTO THE SOIL THE WAY TREES’ CAN.
of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation
HEALTHY FORESTS HELP ABSORB GREENHOUSE GASSES AND CARBON EMISSIONS THAT ARE CAUSED BY HUMAN CIVILIZATION AND CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. WITHOUT TREES, MORE CARBON AND GREENHOUSE GASSES ENTER THE ATMOSPHERE. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, TREES ACTUALLY BECOME CARBON SOURCES WHEN THEY ARE CUT, BURNED, OR OTHERWISE REMOVED.
of paper are used by the average US citizen every year