No world without forests!
Climate protector, home to countless animal and plant species, livelihood for millions of people: The world's forests are indispensable for our survival. Yet never before in the history of our planet has so much forest shrunk so quickly. Eleven million hectares are destroyed worldwide every year. 30 soccer fields per minute. And the trend is rising again. Especially in the tropics, which are rich in species and important for the climate, the massive destruction is dramatic.
The cause of this gigantic overexploitation is the growing demand for wood, meat, animal feed and palm oil. Illegal logging and trade are considered the third most important business area for organized crime. If we do not act now, the last large, intact forest areas will also be destroyed. Only together can we stop the dramatic loss of forests and preserve our world for our children and grandchildren!
Forest destruction has many causes: Deforestation for economic interests, slash-and-burn agriculture for livestock and grain crops, lightning strikes, or human error. Worldwide, the disappearance of forests threatens millions of species.
Forests are home to 80 percent of all species living on land. They ensure the survival of millions of people living in extreme poverty. They play an indispensable role in determining water cycles and the global climate. As the largest rainforest on earth, the Amazon stores enormous amounts of carbon and cools the entire world with its humid air currents. Today, the tropical forests of the Amazon basin are on the verge of collapse (and the world's second-largest rainforest in Africa is also increasingly being irretrievably lost). Rainforests take millions of years to form, and they are being destroyed by the minute.
The forests of this earth and the global climate are closely linked: Forests are gigantic carbon stores, they control water cycles and thus the weather. But only large contiguous forest areas function like giant air conditioning systems and cool the atmosphere.
The rapid forest loss we are currently experiencing is a major contributor to climate change - the microclimate around forests is changing, forests like the Amazon rainforest are in danger of becoming steppes in places. And the big picture is also at risk. It's getting warmer, fewer trees are sequestering less CO2. The vicious circle of climate change.