State of the Rainforest 2014
Humankind can celebrate impressive progress in the last generation: People live longer, fewer children die, more people learn to write and read, and the percentage of people in extreme poverty has decreased substantially.
There are, however, two major areas where we have no reason to applaud: The escalating degradation of ecosystems, including loss of irreplaceable animal and plant species, and the escalating emissions of greenhouse gases.
The tropical rainforest is a thermometer of the state of the planet. More than half of the terrestrial plant and animal species live there. It is “the main biological library of the earth”. Most of the information in this library is not even known to science. The forests also contain and store enormous amounts of carbon. The yearly destruction of the tropical forests results in emissions of CO2 equal to the emissions from all cars in the world. The library burns.
The report aims to give an overview of existing knowledge, presented in an accessible way – and to ensure that we see the whole forest, not only the trees. We hope the report will be useful for all people engaged in the protection of rainforest, whether you are scientist, journalist, activist, decision maker or a concerned citizen.