The Importance of Rain Forests
Tropical rain forests are the most ecologically important resources on the planet. They exist around the earth’s equator from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. These complex, beautiful and somewhat mysterious forests are vital because they:
- Provide habitat for approximately 50% of the world’s plants and animals found on land.
- Serve as wintering grounds for songbirds.
- Take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
- Help maintain global weather patterns and rainfall.
- Reduce erosion.
- Maintain soil fertility on the forest floor.
- Supply food, medicines and other plant-based products that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
- Hold immeasurable amounts of untapped potential for new medicines.
In addition to all of these benefits, rain forests are the ancestral homes of indigenous people and a sustainable source of income for many local families.