Rainforests are dense jungles that cover 6% of the earth's surface. Because of the high amount of rainfall, rainforests are lush and home to about 30 million types of plants and animals.
However due to commercial interests, such as logging, agriculture and mining, a football field-sized section of rainforest is destroyed every second in the world. An American NFL football field is 1.32 acres.
The rapid destruction of this valuable ecosystem puts at risk not only the animals that live in it, but also the numerous foods and medicinal plants that we benefit from. In fact, a quarter of modern medication is made from plants that grow in rainforests. 70% of the plants that can be used in the treatment of cancer are rainforest plants. Tropical rainforests also produce much of the oxygen in the world.
More about rainforests:
- There are two types of rainforests, temperate and tropical.
- Tropical rainforests hold one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply.
- If the rate of rainforest destruction continues, 5-10% of the species that call it home are expected to become extinct each decade.