Protecting the Forests

OUR FORESTS

Tropical forests store over 25% of the world’s carbon, are home to over 50% of terrestrial land species and yet take up just 3% of the earth’s surface.   

Rainforests’ benefit to humans is far greater than their scale would indicate.  Over 60% of anti-cancer drugs are sourced via plants from rainforests. 

Unfortunately, forests are being lost at an astonishing rate – due to fires and logging. 

FORESTS/ LOSS, DESTRUCTION AND PROTECTION

Forests are being lost at a staggering rate.  790,000 hectares were lost in the Amazon in just one year.

Rondônia, one of the worst-hit regions, lost 2.9 million hectares of tree cover from 2000 and 2012, according to Global Forest Watch.    

These satellite images show how Rondônia, in the Brazilan Amazon.  has changed due to deforestation in this time.

Images are from NASA. 

Satellites and Rainforests

Satellites are being used to monitor rainforests, to measure the impact of their loss, and to help protect them from illegal logging.

 

Amazon in August 2000 Amazon in August 2012

Detecting 

Forest Fires

FIRES/ NATURAL | MANMADE

Fires present a terrible risk to forests – natural and man-made. 

Over 3 billion animals were lost in the Australian Forest Fires of 2020.  Wildfires in California are increasing in frequency and intensity are now 500% larger.

Some of these fires are being attributed to climates change and the human activity – e.g logging in Australia was predicted to produce hotter summers and higher risks of fires by the Australian government in 2016.

Fires in the Amazon occur not just due to the indirect actions of humans, but by farmers and landowners deliberately burning down forests. In August 2019 there were over 30,000 fires.

Forest Fires and Satellites

Satellites are used to track and predict forest fires. The most recent US NOAA GOES satellites having that capability built-in. 

Endangered Species

SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN

 Sumatran orangutan, inset, is listed as a Critically Endangered  – with just 7,500 left.  In the early 1900s, there were nearly 230,000 orangutans.

Their demise has been largely due to deforestation. 

Endangered Species

JAGUARS

Jaguars, which live in the rainforests forests are at risk as their habit is lost. In the 1960s around 18,000 Jaguars were killed every year, for their fur. There are now there are just 15,000 left in the wild.

While Jaguars are still hunted they are also at risk from their habitat being lost and being killed in the forest fires – which move too quickly to escape from.