Given the rapid acceleration of climate change and human impacts, rainforests around the world are facing unprecedented threats towards biodiversity, carbon capture, and climate stabilization. Although rainforests only take up 6% of the Earth’s surface, these are some of the most vital ecosystems on the planet. Home to over half of the world’s plant and animal species, the largest rainforests in the world absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping maintain the balance of the air we breathe while simultaneously playing a critical role in curbing global warming.
Despite its critical importance for the survival of life on Earth, rainforests are among the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. Rainforests continue to be endangered by unsustainable logging practices, and rampant development and expansion of agribusiness and other industries. Cutting down forests releases carbon into the atmosphere and driving climate change. Moreover, deforestation causes 15 percent of all human-induced carbon emissions.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) reported that deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. In fact, the area of primary forest worldwide has decreased by over 80 million hectares since 1990.
With strong leadership, sense of urgency, and true commitment to a decisive multilateral response, everyone could save these deteriorating rainforests. The sustainable management of the rainforests and its fragile ecosystems are key to combat climate change and contribute to the success and well-being of the present and future generations. Natural climate solutions like protecting and restoring forests, could reverse global emissions by a third.
The public must take a more active role in the collective mission of advancing education on protecting and preserving the rainforests and forests in general towards achieving a climate-resilient Philippines.