Take a breath, thank a rainforest. This World Rainforest Day, take a moment to think about the many ways in which rainforests positively affect our lives. They provide us with food, medicine, climate regulation, and so much more. The benefits of rainforests are innumerable.
Essential to our survival, rainforests are responsible for more than 25% of all Western medicine and house more than 50% of the world’s plant and animal species. Only covering 2 percent of the planet’s surface area, rainforests are dense and concentrated; however, they directly provide for indigenous populations who live off the land and work to protect this precious resource.
The United Nations has officially recognized the vital role that indigenous people play in fighting deforestation and preserving biodiversity. Unfortunately, world governments have failed to protect Indigenous lands from logging, mining, ranching, oil exploration, and other harmful activities. Hundreds of Indigenous environmental and human rights activists have been murdered for speaking out against the industries that threaten their land and way of life.
Learn more about the world’s rainforests from our partners here.