The extraordinary planet of ours is home to some amazing rainforests that support more than half of the entire world's population of plants and animals. These forests are important for they regulate Earth's weather and temperature. But are we mindful of our forests? In the race for development, we chose to cut them down, our home planet's lungs. Forests are filters of the earth for they absorb greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide and give out oxygen for everyone to breathe. In present times, our rainforests are most vulnerable, next to the polar ice caps, as they have fallen prey to large-scale deforestation and environmental pollution caused by human beings. We tend to forget that if these forests cease to exist, then so will we.
Our rainforests are home to several rare and endemic species of plants and animals. Trees that go up as high as our eyes can see, leaves broad enough to shut out sun rays, forest floor overgrown with moss and creepy crawlies, fresh water lakes, rivers long and wide, flamboyant birds and equally mesmerising and unique animals--all these and much more constitute our forests. Protecting them is protecting ourselves.
Here are five important rainforests of the world that we need to know about.
It is only the world’s largest tropical rainforest, home to some 390 billion trees, thousands of birds and animals, and a huge varieties of insects, and many more. The rainforest covers an area of 5,500,000 sq.km, covering Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venzuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The rainforest takes its name from the river Amazon About 60 percent of the forest is contained in Brazil.
Second to the Amazon, is the Congo rainforest, covering a total area of 1,780,000 sq km and is spread across the Central Africa. The Congo Rainforest is comprised of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Equitorial Guinea and Gabon. This vast forest is home to forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi, lions and a number of plant species.
Papua New Guinea
The rainforest is shared between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, is diverse in nature with dense tropical forest and mangroves. The forest of Papua New Guinea is known for its unique animals, tropical birds and equally amazing tribal communities.
Southeast Asian Rainforest
The Southeast Asian Rainforest is that one important area that we can see dwindling away, right in front of our eyes. Home to rare and endemic Orangutan, proboscis monkey and many other species of plants, birds and aminals, the Southeast Asian Rainforest faces the grave danger of extinction. Yes, even rainforests can get extinct if we are not careful. At present, bits and pieces of the rainforest is spread across Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and the Malay Peninsula. The rapid deforestation of the rainforest caused by the large-scale plantation of the oil palm has left the orangutans at the verge of extinction. Destruction of their natural homes, deliberate forest fires to clear the ground has left so many of these endemic orangutans dead.
The Sundarbans Forest in Bangladesh supports an unique ecosystem that comprise of dense mangrove forests and is home to the famous Bengal tiger, crocodiles and dolphins.