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Why is the Amazon rainforest 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 rainforest 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 rainforest are being destroyed so fast, we may never know all the riches it holds.

The Amazon is of vital importance because people around the world, as well as locally, depend on the rainforest. Not just for food, water, wood and medicines, but to help stabilise the climate—around 76 billion tonnes of carbon is stored in the Amazon rainforest., The trees in the Amazon also release 20 billion tonnes of water into the atmosphere per day, playing a critical role in global and regional carbon and water cycles.

The Amazon is under siege like never before. Deforestation and fire are once again on the increase, and protected areas and indigenous lands face increasing threats. It needs our help more than ever. We cannot tackle the climate crisis without the Amazon’s vital life-sustaining role.

Sarah Hutchison

"We are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unveiling the incredible species that live in the Amazon and understanding the vital role it plays in helping regulate our climate. Despite some important conservation successes, the Amazon faces greater threats than ever before. We need to act fast to protect this life-sustaining treasure for the millions of species and people that depend on it."


Sarah Hutchison
Head of Brazil and Amazon Unit

-7.694502087093, -59.089485160075

The Amazon Rainforest Location

The Amazon covers a huge area (6.7 million sq km) of South America. Nearly 60% of the rainforest is in Brazil, while the rest is shared among eight other countries—Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France.

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. Your help will be vital.