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Saving the World’s Three Largest Rainforests

Saving the World’s Three Largest Rainforests

We all depend on the world’s rainforests for their invisible, almost magical, powers to absorb carbon dioxide and release the life-sustaining oxygen we require to survive on Earth. Literally the lungs of our planet, rainforests maintain an interdependent, symbiotic relationship with all life on Earth—including ours. Today, the rainforests—and millions of species that call them home—are depending on us for protection from continuing degradation. New data shows that rainforests, and the species living in them, may soon be facing extinction if we do not curb deforestation

The Amazon
The CO2 equivalent of 782,001,024 passenger vehicles driven for one year stored here

The Amazon is the largest, most biologically diverse rainforest in the world—and home to at least 3 million species. New data shows that the Amazon is approaching its tipping point, with more than 75% of the untouched forest losing stability since the early 2000s. This decreasing resilience signals a huge risk of degradation unless steps are taken now to halt deforestation and slow global climate change.
When our current projects with local partner CEDIA are complete, Rainforest Trust will have helped safeguard approximately 15 million acres and locked up more than 4 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalents in the Peruvian Amazon. These acres include establishing the Sierra del Divisor National Park, and titling land with hundreds of Indigenous communities. In addition, 36 Endangered or Vulnerable species make their homes here, including the Giant Brazilian Otter (EN) and the White-bellied Spider Monkey (EN).

Congo Basin
The CO2 equivalent of 197,086,413 passenger vehicles driven for one year stored here

The second-largest rainforest on Earth, the Congo Basin in Central Africa spans six countries —Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the least protected and most vulnerable of the world's three great rainforests due to lack of resources and political instability. With our partner, Strong Roots, we are working to protect 769,543 acres in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Protecting this area will safely store more than 166 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents. This dense tropical forest is home to Critically Endangered species like Grauer’s Gorilla, the newly recognized African Forest Elephant, and Chimpanzee (EN).
Another project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with our local partner, Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo, protected 117, 412 acres in the first phase. We are currently working to protect an additional 80,000 acres of carbon-rich swamp forest for the Congo’s most iconic and threatened Endangered Bonobo. When completed, this reserve will lock up more than 76.3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents.

Southeast Asia
The CO2 equivalent of 205,934,567 passenger vehicles driven for one year stored here

The rainforests of Southeast Asia, the third-largest in the world, total nearly 15% of Earth’s tropical forests. More than 2,600 endemic species across Southeast Asia are at risk of losing their homes—and lives—due to habitat loss. Rainforest Trust currently has 20 projects underway in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. In Malaysia, we completed a project with our partner, RIMBA, to secure 74,130 acres of unprotected forest connected to the Taman Negara National Park, an important Tiger Conservation Landscape.

We Must Act Now

Rainforest Trust has been protecting rainforests around the world for 30 years. Safeguarding these forests not only protects species and habitats—it is our best defense in our fight against climate change.

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