This blog is for guests who I invite to “sound off” about their concerns for our planet. Rosa Lynas (age 13 years) feels strongly about the world’s rainforests and this is what she chose to write about for her first blog.

Photo by Michael Roper

Forest fire

Our rainforests are one of the most diverse places on the planet – maybe even the universe. They contain around half of all the species of plant and animal in the whole world. They’re not even very big; they only cover 13 percent of land, but they’re full. In just one year, 19 new species of lemur were discovered, and in Madagascar, 80 percent of the plants aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Soon, they may not be found anywhere. Once a species is gone, there is no way for it to come back. We must not let them die out. The next few

years may be our only chance to stop people from cutting down rainforests to satisfy their greed. It is murder – not just of the plants, but of the animals that lived there. Elephants remember water holes from decades ago, but now their much-needed supplies are dwindling. We cannot continue with our slaughter.

Not only that, but we, as humans, need rainforests too. Lots of our medicine is made by rainforest plants and even then only 1 percent of plant species have been studied. There could be many more cures around the corner. If we cannot be bothered to save others, we should at least save ourselves.

The rainforests have been known as the lungs of the world. They provide about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen and the soil and trees capture carbon dioxide which stops it from going out into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. If we continue to cut them down, we will release more carbon dioxide into the world, which will put us in even more danger.

The rainforests are home to more than 1,000 indigenous tribes which live in harmony with nature to survive. But now, lots of rainforests are being taken over by palm oil plantations. Even if it’s illegal, people are burning down parts of the rainforests to make way for their plantations. It’s responsible for 8 percent of the world’s deforestation. Not only is this bad for animals because they lose their homes and their source of food, but it destroys the homes of the tribes and ruins their food supply. It also releases carbon into the atmosphere and makes climate change even worse.
The best way to save the rainforests is to leave them be. Nature will heal itself; it doesn’t need us interfering more than we already have. We need to stop cutting down trees and start restoring species back into their homes.

WWF Official Site – Rainforests

Rainforest | National Geographic Society