World Conservation and Wildlife Trust

Fighting to protect the World's Marine Life, Wildlife, Biodiversity and Population.

Rainforests under threat

Deforestation is a growing problem in today's society. Wood is ample material for everything in daily life, from furniture to paper, but to what extent? Could we face a time where all the forests of the world have gone? The facts are that in every second, over 1.5 acres of rainforest is either: chopped down for timber; burnt to make way for plantations such as palm oil; used for Amazonian cattle ranching or simply for urban lands. A large percentage of this destruction is in fact illegal, but the countries at question are either too poor or weak against corruption of the world. Of the 16 million square kilometres of rainforest only a miniscule 9 million remain to this present day. Less than 0.1% of the central Pacific forests remain to this day and only 8% of Madagascan forests remain, there is also a severe case in Indonesia.

As so many palm oil distributors take advantage of the land, the rainforest seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate, along with hundreds of species such as the orangutan and the Sun bear. As this Indonesian deforestation occurs, many tonnes of natural greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, these naturally forming gases were previously trapped under peat lands by the forest, thus making Indonesia one of the highest greenhouse gas polluters in the world. The palm oil industry comes down to Supply and Demand, due the excessive demand for palm oil as a hidden "vegatable oil" in products that is cheap to produce, there is a constant need for the supply of the product which mean there will constantly be a need to clear rainforest space to make may for palm oil plantations, leaving nothing behind and causing considerable destruction to the animals who occupy the rainforest and the environment. This is not only the case for Indonesia, it is happening all around the world every day. We need to stop this destruction and now.

Article by R.H.N.

This image is of an Indonesian area of rainforest that once thrived with exilarating wildlife.


This image is of a whole section of the Amazon just cleared. This used to be home to thousands of species, now it is a bare wasteland.