A new State of the Tropical Rainforest Report has been published, revealing that of the 14.5 million square kilometres of tropical rainforest that once covered the earth, just 36 per cent now remains intact. In all, 34 per cent has vanished completely and the remaining 30 per cent is now in various forms of degradation.
Compiled by Rainforest Foundation Norway, the study analysed Global Forest Watch data from the 73 countries worldwide that are home to the planet’s tropical rainforests, finding that nearly 45 per cent of the current rainforest cover is now in a degraded state.
Warnings have now been issued that the tropical rainforest ecosystems are edging closer to a tipping point, which will mean their natural ecosystem services will no longer be sustainable, with the forest starting to collapse. This is already being seen in some parts of the Amazon rainforest.
Author of the report Anders Krogh said: “These highly specialised ecosystems are suffering from constant and persistent abuse, through our bottomless appetite for land and resources. We expect that upcoming UN climate and biodiversity summits provide specific targets and measures to protect intact tropical rainforests.”
So how can we protect the rainforest? There are various steps you can take, whether that’s changing your diet to avoid food grown on deforested land (such as beef, palm oil and soybean), buy responsibly sourced products made from recycled materials, or opt for fair trade products made by indigenous communities.
If you’re keen to make a few swaps where your products are concerned, check out our range of eco friendly bamboo coffee cups and other items we have in our online shop.