22 July, 2014
100 Years, there will be no Rainforests…
When you see paper and wood, what do you
think of? Do you think of the tree that was felled to make the product?
Before we started to build cities many
centuries ago, they say that 60% of the Earth was covered in Forests. Now,
there is less than 10% left.
Deforestation is when forests are converted
for other purposes by cutting down the trees to clear the land for other use. With
7 billion people in the planet, we need more land to build cities, raise
livestock and grow food. People also make money by clearing the forests and
selling the lumber and wood to be converted into other products, such as paper.
What you need to know about
Can you imagine Earth without forests? Here
are some deforestation facts for kids that can be shared to raise their
awareness about our environment:
- 13 million hectares of forest
have been cleared for other uses or by natural disaster. By the year 2030, we
might only have 10% of our forests left… and if we don’t stop deforestation,
they could all be gone in 100 years.
- Agriculture is the leading
cause of deforestation. We clear the land to raise livestock or to plant other
crops that can be sold, such as sugar cane and palm oil. More: How
Can We Stop Deforestation?
- There are 5 major rainforests:
- a. The Amazon in South America
- b. The Congo in Central Africa
- c. Southeast Asia
- Rainforests cover only 6% of
the world’s surface… yet they are home to more than 50% of the plant and animal
species on Earth.
- A patch of rainforest measuring
4 square miles can contain as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 400 species of
birds, 750 species of trees and 150 species of butterflies. Not counting the
other living things living there.
- Every minute, forests the size
of 20 football fields are cut down.
are Rainforests Important?
Rainforests help regulate the Earth’s
temperature and weather patterns. Did you know that 20% of our oxygen is
produced in the Amazon? But that’s not all they’re good for:
- They are home to plants and
animals. It took 60 to 100 million years for Rainforests to evolve and it is
the home of over 30 million species of plants and animals. When we clear the
forests, they all die.
Trees help absorb the harmful
carbon dioxide that we humans release in the atmosphere and they provide the
oxygen that we need to breathe. More:
Changes due to Global Warming
- More than 25% of our medicines
today come from rainforest plants. We have only explored 1% of the plants
available. Just imagine what diseases the 99% that have not been explored can
- They soak up a lot of rainfall.
The rainwater is filtered through the forest floors and supplies water to
rivers and irrigation systems. They also help prevent erosion, where the soil
is washed away causing blockages that in turn causes floods.
- They are home to indigenous
people. Many tribes still live in the
If we don’t stop deforestation, more than
half of our plant and animal species will be extinct. It is the oldest
ecosystem on Earth and they are impossible to replace. It took millions of
years for rainforests to develop… how can we replenish fast enough to cope with
the rate of deforestation?
can you do to help save our forests?
There are many ways to help save the
forests that are remaining.
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. If we
recycle the products that come from trees such as paper, then we can use them
over and over again. There will be a lower demand for products made from trees.
- Buy from companies that are
environment friendly. They don’t ruin our environment just to make money.
of Depletion of Natural Resources
- Try to eat less meat which
requires grazing lands – another reason why forests are cleared.
- Buy products made out of
- Do not buy newspaper or
magazines. Read them online.
- Buy furniture and wood that is Certified. This means that the wood was
legally cut down.
Read more interesting stories about the
environment at The World
Counts: Stories. By knowing the issues, you can contribute in your own
small way by making much needed changes that are good for our environment.
If you want to know about Ethical Companies
and green products, visit Firmhugger.
It’s a collection of companies making products that are environment friendly.
Let’s rewards their efforts by patronizing their products.
CONCERN: Why are Rainforests Important?
Energy Future: Deforestation Facts