Amazing Facts

The Disappearing Rainforests

  1. We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as
    we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests
    once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a
    mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining
    rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

  2. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second
    with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

  3. Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of
    rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber
    by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies,
    and land owners.

  4. Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and
    microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over
    the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.

  5. Experts estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal and
    insect species every single day due to rainforest
    deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year. As the
    rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for
    life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs
    sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While
    25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest
    ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants
    have been tested by scientists.

  6. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and
    fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming
    and ranching operations, even by world giants like Mitsubishi
    Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal.

  7. There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the
    Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less
    than 200,000.

  8. In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than
    90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have
    gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value
    of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to
    be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.

  9. Most medicine men and shamans remaining in the Rainforests
    today are 70 years old or more. Each time a rainforest
    medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down.

  10. When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the
    next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of
    years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants.

Related Tags: Rainforest  Plants  Earth  
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