The Importance of the Amazon Rainforest to the World

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest in the world and has vital links between global warming and our survival. This rainforest covers more than two million miles of forest land and stretches across nine South American countries. A big portion of its area is found in the Brazil region. It is a beautiful place – full of lush green forests and mighty rivers. While the Amazon rainforest is known for its physical attributes, a lot of people don’t know the countless benefits it provides not just to the indigenous people living near the rainforest but across all nations and countries in the world.

Facts about the Amazon Rainforest

Here are some facts about the Amazon Rainforest.

  • The Amazon River is the second-longest river in the world. Its area of water ways covers nearly 4000 miles and is home to numerous natural species such as the endangered pink dolphin, red-bellied piranha. bull sharks, and black caiman crocodiles.

  • The Amazon Basin has the highest rainfall rate in the world making it sustainable to provide water to every region in the forests.

  • The wetlands of this forest house over 53 percent of the more than 6,727 tree species recorded.

  • It produces roughly six percent of the world’s oxygen which is why the Amazon Rainforest is considered the lungs of the earth. It has a huge role in controlling the world’s climate.

  • It plays an important role in regulating the carbon cycles in the atmosphere as well as the world’s oxygen.

  • The Amazon Rainforest house over an estimated 16,000 tree species and 390 billion individual trees.

  • The Amazon influences rainfall patterns in the countries near it and even to the United States of America.

What are the threats that the Amazon forest is facing recently?

Today, the Amazon Rainforest is facing potential perils every year which could lead to the ultimate destruction of this important rainforest.

Here are some of the real and present dangers the Amazon is facing.

Wildfires

Fires breaking every year in the Amazon rainforest are often caused by accidents during the dry months. Every year, the dry season causes wild fires that destroy wildlife. However, many satellite photographs also show that the fires in the Brazil region of the Amazon were set deliberately to clear many acres of land. Some news says that the government of Brazil is slow in action when it comes to protecting the natural resources in the forests.

Deforestation has been one of the biggest problems in many countries today, not just in the Amazon, to make way for a new use of land.

Illegal logging

Illegal logging is a global problem that promotes ways that are not sustainable to society. Many illegal loggers target remote forest areas, especially the Amazon rainforest, to cut certain tree species in the forest to supply furniture and building supplies businesses. These illegal loggers would use false permits and steal from indigenous lands and protected areas that are supposed to be for indigenous people only.

 

This problem has been in countless news outlets in Brazil and other countries and has been going on for years but oftentimes they can easily avoid detection because of the weak presence of environmental agencies and because these activities are done in very remote locations.

Poaching

Illegal hunting of animals and rare plant species is one of the major problems in the Amazon. Animals such as the giant Amazon turtle, the Amazon Manatee, and the Paiche, have been slowly vanishing from the wild. Rare plant species are also poached from the rainforest and are sold expensively in the black market.

Commercial Fishing

Fish are the main source of income and food for the Amazonian people. Nonetheless, this has posed a threat to the current fish population in the rainforest. With the growing population, commercial fishing and over-fishing have contributed to the decline of the fish population. Commercial fishing has led to the use of industrial lawyers that scoops up entire schools of fish which is an unsustainable way to bring food to the people.

Ranching & Agriculture

To make room for cattle farming, soy production, and raising crops, more rainforests are being continuously cut down today. As of today, cattle pastures are occupying 80% of the deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest. With the growing demand for meat and other commodities, this has made a drastic impact on the rainforest and the nearby countries around it.

Mining

Mining activities result in the soil, and water contamination as harmful chemicals and sediments get washed down to the rivers. Fish and other animals are affected when this happens. But mining continues to be one of the main problems due to the demand for minerals mined in the Amazon basin. These minerals are used to make many everyday items that we use today.

Why we should protect the Amazon Rainforest?

More than ever, we should protect the Amazon rainforest. Here are some of the reasons why it is so important to protect this beautiful rainforest.

Climate Control

Maintaining both local and regional climate is so important and the Amazon play a huge role in this. The Amazin is responsible for as much as 75% of its own rainfall. The rain feeds the nearby rivers and influences the rain in South America to the United States.

Medicine

The tribes of Amazon have perfected the process of using plants and even insects to cure diseases. This practice has been going on for years and should remain that way for the next generations.

Carbon Storage

Over the last 150 years, humans have been burning fossil fuels, using gas, oil, and coal which has contributes to tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. The Amazon absorbs 86 billion tonnes of CO2 in the world.

Biodiversity

The most biodiverse terrestrial place in the world is the Amazon Rainforest. It is home to more animal and plant species than anywhere else in the world. It is only important that the natural ecosystems that house them are protected considering it also provides tons of benefits to humans.

 

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