Saving the Rainforests to Save the World

 In Eco Systems, Intentions
Red eye frog

Here at the Great Gathering, we understand that one of the biggest environmental challenges in our lifetime is saving the Brazilian rainforest from destruction. Read on if you want to understand more about this precious ecosystem and what can be done to preserve it.


1. The Value to Wildlife

The Brazilian rainforest habitat is some of the richest on Earth. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it is home to 1 in 10 of all of our planet’s known species, and ecologists estimate that 40,000 species of plants, 3,000 of fish and over 370 of reptiles are native here. These creatures include jaguars, harpy eagles, two-toed sloths and pygmy marmosets. Its sheer diversity alone makes this habitat worth saving.

2. The Value to Humans

There are many reasons why the rainforest is just as valuable to humans as it is to the plants and animals which live there.

Firstly, there are over 350 indigenous tribes who live within the rainforest and their cultures are dependent upon it for all aspects of their lives, including food and shelter. Destroying the rainforests would also mean destroying these ancient cultures.

Secondly, the rainforest makes an enormous difference in our planet’s climate. Greenpeace estimates that it stores anywhere between 80 and 120 billion tons of carbon. In this age of severe climate change and global warming, it is more important than ever to stabilize the planet’s climate.

Thirdly, we show our dependence on the rainforest every time we step into a pharmacy. One-quarter of mainstream drugs have been based on rainforest plants. In addition to this, nearly 70% of plants with identified anti-cancer properties are from the rainforest.

3. The Threat
Since 1970, we have lost 232,000 square miles of this ancient habitat. This is due to a number of activities like logging, clearing land for cattle and soybeans, mineral extraction ventures and the construction of hydropower dams.

4. The Solution
To save the rain forest, we must continue to educate people in Brazil and around the world about why the rainforest is so important. We also need to find ways to support the Brazilian economy so that the rainforest can be preserved while still guaranteeing a good quality of life for all Brazilians. This is at the heart of the mission of the Great Gathering.

References
The World Wildlife Foundation
Greenpeace
Monga Bay Foundation

by The Great Gathering
Copyright The Great Gathering 2014©

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