The Bottom Line: Learn more about forests!
The Full Story:
- Trees can live for thousands of years and grow hundreds of feet tall.
- There is not a species on the planet that doesn’t owe its existence to trees.
- Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater.
- About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas
- Forests act as natural water filters.
- More species of plant and animal live in rainforests than any other land habitat. For example, the Indonesian rainforest alone is home to one fifth of all plant and animal life yet it is disappearing at a faster rate than at any other time. There are now fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild as their habitat is destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.
- Not all rainforests are tropical. Consider the Great Bear rainforest in western Canada, which is home to the extremely rare Kermode “spirit” bear. And while most of the Great Bear rainforest is protected, parts of it are still under threat from logging for timber. The sitka spruce that grows there is particularly prized for making guitars, violins and mandolins.
- More than 25% of the medicines we use originate in rainforest plants, and yet only 1% of rainforest plants have been studied for medicinal properties.