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World Rainforest Day – Underlying importance of rainforests

Hyderabad:World Rainforest Day is celebrated every year on June 22.Started by a foundation called Rainforest Partnership, the event gained recognition in 2017.

The rainforests keep our planet alive. They are home to half of the world’s animal species, provide us with fresh water and are essential for keeping our climate stable. Yet one and a half hectares are lost every second, while 78 million hectares of precious rainforest are destroyed every year. That’s why World Rainforest Day was created to take decisive action to combat deforestation, reduce the impacts of climate change and protect our rainforests for future generations.

History of World Rainforest Day:The first World Rainforest Day was celebrated on June 22, 2017, when the Rainforest Partnership, a nonprofit environmental organization based in Austin, Texas, launched the global event. This initiative aimed to raise awareness about the importance of rainforests and their invaluable contribution to the planet. In 2021, the World Rainforest Day Summit was launched with the aim of bringing together people and organizations from all sectors.

World Rainforest Day has received support from more than 70 global partners, including environmentalists and media. It has become an annual event held on June 22 and is endorsed by several organizations seeking positive action in rainforest conservation. The Rainforest Partnership is an affiliate member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, further strengthening its mission.

Importance of rainforests:

Climate: Forests are crucial ecosystems, providing habitats for most of the world’s species and the livelihoods of nearly a billion people. Healthy forests play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by acting as carbon sinks, absorbing billions of tons of CO2 every year.

Water cycle:Rainforests play an important role in the global water cycle. They absorb rainfall and release it back into the atmosphere in the form of moisture. This process helps regulate rainfall patterns and climate, both locally and around the world.

Pharmacy:More than 25 percent of our modern medicines come from tropical forest plants. Yet we’ve only learned to use 1 percent of these amazing plants, so imagine the possibilities if we could experiment with the other 99 percent. According to the US National Cancer Institute, more than two-thirds of all drugs found to have cancer-fighting properties come from rainforest plants.

Subsistence:Millions of people live in and around rainforests and depend on these rainforests for their livelihood. They depend on the forest for food, shelter and resources. In addition, rainforests also support jobs and economies through sectors such as tourism and sustainable forestry.

Global deforestation:Time is running out to protect the world’s forests as countries that pledged to halt deforestation by 2030 have not taken necessary action, a United Nations report released on June 10, 2024 warned. According to the FAO, the global rate of deforestation between 2015 and 2020 was 7.51 Mha per year. According to the Global Forest Watch Report, a total of 76.3 Mha of moist primary forest was lost globally between 2002 and 2023, representing 16 percent of the total tree cover loss over the same period. The total area of ​​moist primary forests worldwide has decreased by 7.4 percent during this period.

Top Rainforests in India:

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Tropical evergreen forest
  2. Assam – Pristine Escapes
  3. Northwest Ghats Moist deciduous forests – rich in flora and fauna
  4. Southwest Ghats Moist deciduous forests – Species rich regions of Deccan
  5. Semi-evergreen forests in the Brahmaputra Valley – home to the most alluvial soil
  6. Odisha semi-evergreen forests – a feast for the eyes

The 10 largest rainforests in the world:

  1. The Amazon
  2. The Congo rainforest
  3. Bosawas Biosphere Reserve
  4. Daintree Rainforest
  5. Southeast Asian rainforest
  6. Tongass National Forest
  7. Kinabalu National Park
  8. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  9. Sinharaja Forest Reserve
  10. Valdivian temperate rainforest