Today, the Amazon Rainforest encompasses 6.7 million km² (2.6 million square miles) but is that as much as it seems?
According to Wikipedia the total area of the rainforest has decreased by more than 50%. Every year, an area that is as big as one third of Germany is cut down. The consequences don't only concern the native flora and fauna but also our climate.
You don't have to be an activist to do your part to save the rainforest. Many common products come from the tropical area. If you consider that when you go shopping, there will be a chance to reduce the deforestation. That's good for us (for our climate), for the native animals and plants and last but not least for the indigenes.
Products that have their Origin in the Rainforests
among other things...
What we can do:
Now you will wonder what you can do because doing without all those products is difficult. The solution is: Have a closer look on them.
Consequences of Deforestation
The deforestation of the rainforests does not only have devastating effects on the native animal and plant species but also on the Earth's climate. One tree produces as much oxygen as required for two humans for the rest of their lives. The carbon dioxide adsorption in the tropics is 30 kilos (66 lb) per tree and year. 90 to 140 billion tons of CO2 are stored in the Amazon rainforest. If it was destroyed, the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere would increase up to 25 per cent. (Source: Spiegel online (German only)) The WWF estimates that there would be more precipitation than before if 30 per cent of the rainforest were destroyed.
Facts about the Rainforest
Palm Oil - Exhaustive Cultivation and Devastating ConsequencesIt's not only the Amazon rainforest that keeps shrinking at a rapid pace. Indonesia, for example, faces exactly the same problem. A major contribution is made by the cultivation of palm oil which is used, amongst others, for the production of sweets, margarine and cosmetics. One main buyer of palm oil is the largest food producer in the world: Nestle. Before Greenpeace launched a campaign against the enterprise or, to be more precise, against the famous chocolate bar "KitKat", Nestle showed no interest in using palm oil sustainably. In 2010, Nestle declared that it would not continue to buy palm oil originating from exhaustive cultivation bowing to the increasing pressure of consumers and environmental groups. The question remains how serious the enterprise is about their "action plan" and if "sustainable cultivation" can be a solution in the long term.