Like deserts and Arctic wastes, tropical rainforests tend to inspire a feeling of awe in those who visit them. However, unlike these other sparse environments, the majestic forests girdling the Equator represent incredible concentrations of biodiversity, containing more than half of the world’s plant and animal species. Inside a rainforest, the first impression is one of darkness, a result of shade from the dense tree cover. A complex ecosystem extends from the emergent layer, a top storey that is often home to butterflies, bats and monkeys, down to the forest floor with its fast-decaying plant and animal matter.
Other inhabitants include millions of tribal peoples who have been living close to nature in rainforests for millennia and have devised a way of meeting their needs without destroying their home. The long-term future of many of these indigenous tribes remains under threat from a range of development pressures.
For the Western world, the importance of rainforests is becoming increasingly obvious, with about a quarter of all modern pharmaceuticals derived from rainforest ingredients. A less self-interested motivation is the protection of this rich, diverse web for future generations. In the words of John Seed from the Lismore-based Rainforest Information Centre, “The rainforests are worth preserving because they exist.”
Sadly, more than half of the rainforests have already disappeared, representing a great loss to the world. Regrowth forests do not have the same biodiversity as largely undisturbed forest, so conservation of what remains should remain the top priority.
For the article in full visit the Wellbeing website.
I firmly believe that awareness is a choice and we all have to make the conscious decision to change the way we do things so that our children and grandchildren get to enjoy the environment the same that we are lucky enough to and did as children.
It doesn't have to be difficult, you don't have to start battling pharmaceutical companies for example but it is time to show you care and it has to start at home.
Picture credit casarioblanco.com