The Amazon is at risk of reaching an irreversible tipping point. Between 1985 and 2021, the Amazon lost an area of rainforest and other native vegetation equivalent to three times the size of the UK. The pressures on the Amazon are intensifying. We need to act now. Without the Amazon, we lose the fight against climate change.
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 other day. 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—150-200 billion tons 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 fires remain dangerously high, 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.
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 three 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.
3) 47 million people live in the Amazon, including around 2.2 million Indigenous people, speaking around 300 different languages.
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.
Wildlife that live in the Amazon
The Amazon river contains more than twice as many types of fish than any other river – and there are hundreds of thousands of different plants and animals in the Amazon rainforest.