Rainforest Day: The plight of the world's rainforests
Oct. 19 is Rainforest Day, an annual “holiday” that raises awareness about the importance of rainforests around the globe and the plight they are facing.
Rainforests are vital to the animals that live in them and the plants that grow in them. Rainforests are also vital to human beings and the environment. This unique ecosystem is critical to the balance of nature. More than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.
But these lush and majestic forests are rapidly disappearing due to various human activities including commercial logging, grazing land and subsistence farming. 6000 acres of pristine rainforest land is disappearing every hour! In 1950, 15 percent of the Earth’s land surface was covered by the rainforest. Today, these dense and beautiful jungles only cover about 6 percent of the Earth’s surface.
More than half of the world’s animal species and plants are found in the rainforest. It is estimated that 30 million plants and animals live in the rainforests of the world. But each day, 137 plant, animal and insect species disappear due to deforestation of the rainforest. It is estimated that 25 percent of the world’s medicine comes from rainforest plants.
Some experts believe these magical places could disappear in less than 40 years! What will happen to all the beautiful and unusual creatures that reside in the rainforest if they disappear? What will happen to all the plants and fruit?
Today is also Dress Like a Dork Day.