Why the Amazon is so important
South America’s Amazon contains nearly a third of all the tropical rainforests left on Earth. Despite covering only around 1% of the planet’s surface, the Amazon is home to 10% of all the wildlife species we know about – and probably a lot that we don’t know yet.
Our research shows that, on average, a 'new' species of animal or plant is being discovered in the Amazon every 3 days. However, tragically, because huge parts of the forest are being destroyed so fast, we may never know all the riches it holds.
People around the world, as well as locally, depend on the Amazon. Not just for food, water, wood and medicines, but to help stabilise the climate, playing a critical role in global and regional carbon and water cycles.
The Amazon has always been a photogenic ‘pin-up’ for the environmental movement – but its importance is much more than symbolic. We all need the Amazon. And it needs our help now more than ever.
The Amazon covers a huge area (6.7 million sq km) of South America – mainly in Brazil but also Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
About the Amazon
This vast untamed wilderness is under increasing threat from huge-scale farming and ranching, infrastructure and urban development, unsustainable logging, mining and climate change.
Just two quick facts to give you an idea of what’s at stake here. 1) The Amazon has more species of primate than anywhere else on Earth. 2) You can find more types of ant on one tree in the Amazon than you can in some whole countries.
We’re so determined to help protect the Amazon. For the benefit of its people and for the planet as a whole. And your help will be vital!